Background and aim: The study aimed to evaluate the epidemiological trend of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Italy using data on Internet search volume. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Data on Internet searches were obtained from Google Trends (GT) and Wikipedia. We used the following Italian search term: "Malattia mano-piede-bocca" (Hand-foot-mouth disease, in English). A monthly time-frame was extracted, partly overlapping, from July 2015 to December 2022. GT and Wikipedia were overlapped to perform a linear regression and correlation analyses. Statistical analyses were performed using the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho). A linear regression analysis was performed considering Wikipedia and GT. Results: Search peaks for both Wikipedia and GT occurred in the months November-December during the autumn-winter season and in June during the spring-summer season, except for the period from June 2020 to June 2021, probably due to the restrictions of the COVID19 pandemic. A temporal correlation was observed between GT and Wikipedia search trends. Conclusions: This is the first study in Italy that attempts to clarify the epidemiology of HFMD. Google search and Wikipedia can be valuable for public health surveillance; however, to date, digital epidemiology cannot replace the traditional surveillance system.

Digital epidemiology and infodemiology of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in Italy. Disease trend assessment via Google and Wikipedia / O.E. Santangelo, V. Gianfredi, S. Provenzano, F. Cedrone. - In: ACTA BIOMEDICA. - ISSN 2531-6745. - 94:4(2023 Aug 03), pp. e2023107.1-e2023107.9. [10.23750/abm.v94i4.14184]

Digital epidemiology and infodemiology of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in Italy. Disease trend assessment via Google and Wikipedia

V. Gianfredi
Secondo
;
2023

Abstract

Background and aim: The study aimed to evaluate the epidemiological trend of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Italy using data on Internet search volume. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Data on Internet searches were obtained from Google Trends (GT) and Wikipedia. We used the following Italian search term: "Malattia mano-piede-bocca" (Hand-foot-mouth disease, in English). A monthly time-frame was extracted, partly overlapping, from July 2015 to December 2022. GT and Wikipedia were overlapped to perform a linear regression and correlation analyses. Statistical analyses were performed using the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho). A linear regression analysis was performed considering Wikipedia and GT. Results: Search peaks for both Wikipedia and GT occurred in the months November-December during the autumn-winter season and in June during the spring-summer season, except for the period from June 2020 to June 2021, probably due to the restrictions of the COVID19 pandemic. A temporal correlation was observed between GT and Wikipedia search trends. Conclusions: This is the first study in Italy that attempts to clarify the epidemiology of HFMD. Google search and Wikipedia can be valuable for public health surveillance; however, to date, digital epidemiology cannot replace the traditional surveillance system.
Settore MED/42 - Igiene Generale e Applicata
3-ago-2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1020511
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