A data scientist has claimed to have found another probable COVID-19 symptom by tracking down Google searches from the worst-hit areas.

Coronavirus Update: Is Eye Pain Another COVID-19 Symptom? Data Scientist Think So After Tracking Google Searches
(Photo : Monoar Rahman Rony from Pixabay)
A data scientist has reason to believe that eye pain is a rare symptom of COVID-19.

Data Scientist Explains How Google Searches are Important These Days

As the public knows, the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, has no universal symptom.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the most common signs, several coronavirus patients have gone out and shared their "unique" symptoms and experiences.

TechTimes has previously reported a young woman who was tested positive for COVID-19 who lost her sense of hearing during the early days of the infection, as well as tons of other people who reported losing their sense of taste and smell due to the coronavirus.

Now, data scientist and author, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explained how Google searches could help track down possible symptoms of the coronavirus infection, as well as how it could pinpoint another possible outbreak.

In his post on The New York Times, Stephens-Davidowitz said that people tend to look up their symptoms on search engines like Google.

The symptom anosmia, or the loss of sense of smell, has been searched far more during this period, especially the past weekend in the worst-hit areas like New York, Michigan, Louisiana, and New Jersey.

Researchers have since then considered anosmia as a symptom of COVID-19, with 30% to 60% of coronavirus patients experiencing it.

Read Also: Coronavirus Cure: Australian Scientists Find Drug that 'Completely Stops' COVID-19 From Replicating--But It's Originally for Head Lice!

Predicting the Next Epicentre

Stephens-Davidowitz even predicted that Ecuador would see a surge of COVID-19 cases and will become the new epicenter of the novel coronavirus based on the Google searches of the Ecuadoreans.

"Searches for no puedo oler ('I can't smell') are some 10 times higher per Google search in Ecuador than they are in Spain, even though Ecuador officially reports more than ten times fewer COVID-19 cases per capita than Spain does," he wrote.

Besides, "I can't smell," the data scientist has also seen a surge of Google searches for fever and chills, which are also common symptoms of the coronavirus infection, according to the WHO.

Eye Pain as a Symptom of COVID-19?

However, the fourth-highest Google search related to COVID-19 was a surprise: eye pain.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, the data scientist has reason to believe that the people's Google searches are enough evidence to consider eye pain as a coronavirus symptom.

He explained that searches for eye pain are prevalent in Spain and Iran, correlating to the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the countries.

Italians have also been searching for bruciore occhi ("burning eyes") five times more this March than any other time--and Italy currently is one of the top countries with the most cases of coronavirus infections and deaths.

Nevertheless, eye pain might only be affecting a small fraction of the total coronavirus patients as, despite the rising Google searches, it's still below the search volumes of other COVID-19 symptoms.

However, it seemed to go hand in hand with a previous report by TODAY, saying that doctors believe pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a rare symptom of the new coronavirus disease.

Additionally, a veteran nurse has shared that they are using conjunctivitis or pink/red-eye to make decisions on whether to admit a suspected COVID-19 patient or not since all of the coronavirus patients she saw had them.

Read Also: Coronavirus: A.I. Tool Finally Finds 3 Symptoms That Lead to Severe Cases; Knowledge Graph Created to Help Doctors with COVID-19 Diagnosis

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.