Global Interest in Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Google Trends (TM)
Authors: Ali, Shajeea Arshad; Bin Arif, Taha; Maab, Hira; Baloch, Mariam; Manazir, Sana; Jawed, Fatima; Ochani, Rohan Kumar
Background Since the outbreak, healthcare systems across the globe are overcrowded with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients. To sustain the response towards the pandemic, many hospitals have adapted to virtual healthcare and telemedicine. Google (TM) has become the most widely used search engine over the years. Google Trends (TM) can be used to depict the public interest over a certain topic. The output of the Google Trends (TM) is displayed as relative search volume (RSV) which is the proportionate search volume regarding a specific topic comparative to the total search volume in a specific time and region. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the daily reported number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths and the corresponding changes in Google Trends (TM) RSV of telehealth over six months. Methods A retrospective study was conducted from January 21, 2020 to July 21, 2020. About 17 countries that reported the total number of cases greater than 200,000 in the situation report of July 21, 2020 were selected to be a part of this study. The daily reported new cases and deaths globally and of the selected countries were extracted from the World Health Organization ( WHO) situation reports. The combination of keywords used for obtaining the RSV data through Google TrendsT was "telehealth", "telemedicine", "mHealth", and "eHealth". These words were used with the "+" feature of Google TrendsT with "1/21/2020 to 7/21/2020" as time range, "all categories" for the category, and "web search" for the type of search. The worldwide RSV as well as the RSVs of the selected countries were obtained from the Google Trends (TM) website. Spearman's correlation coefficient (rho) was used to determine the strength of the relationship between new cases or deaths and RSVs related to telehealth. Results A positive fair correlation was established between the global interest in telehealth and the new cases (rho= 0.307, p-value<0.001) and deaths (rho=0.469, p-value<0.001) reported worldwide. The United States of America (USA), India, and Bangladesh were found to have a positive fair correlation between the public interest regarding telehealth and the emerging new COVID-19 cases and deaths. The United Kingdom (UK) and Italy demonstrated a positive poor correlation between the rising new cases or deaths and RSV. Similar statistics were noted for the daily new cases of Chile. For Turkey, a positive fair correlation between new deaths and RSV while a positive poor correlation between new cases and RSV was observed. No significant correlation was observed for the rest of the selected countries. Conclusion This study highlights the steadily rising public interest in telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine can provide the necessary remote consultation and healthcare for patients in the current situation. However, previous studies have shown that the majority of the countries are inadequately equipped for the digitization of the healthcare system. Therefore, it has become necessary to incorporate telemedicine into the healthcare system to combat any possible pandemic in the future.
Genetic diversity and molecular epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus circulated in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from 2011 to 2017: Predominance of ON1 and BA9 genotypes
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL VIROLOGY
Authors: Rahombanjanahary, Norosoa Harline Razanajatovo; Rybkina, Ksenia; Randriambolamanantsoa, Tsiry Hasina; Razafimanjato, Helisoa; Heraud, Jean-Michel
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus is the main cause of acute respiratory infections leading to a considerable morbidity and mortality among under-5 years children. A comprehensive scheme of RSV virus evolution is of great value in implementing effective universal RSV vaccine. Objective: We investigated the clinical spectrum and molecular characteristics of detected RSV over a period of seven years (January 2011 to June 2017) in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Study design: 671 nasopharyngeal samples taken from children aged less than 5 years suffered from ARI were screened for RSV by real-time PCR. Clinical data were retrieved from case report forms. Genotype identification was performed by reverse-transcription PCR and sequencing of the second hyper variable region (HVR2) of the G glycoprotein. Results: Amongst samples tested, 292 (43.5 %) were found positive for RSV. RSV A predominated during the study period which accounted for 62.3 % (182/292) of positive samples while RSV B represented 37.0 % (108/292). Phylogenetic analyses identified NA1 and ON1 genotypes among RSV A. Though NA1 widespread from 2011 to 2013, ON1 became prevalent during the following years. Among RSV B, THB, CB1 and BA9 genotypes were detected. A co-circulation of THB and CB1 strains occurred during the 2011 season that was substituted by the BA9 from 2012. Malagasy ON1 strains carried some characteristic amino acid substitutions that distinguish them from the worldwide ON1 strains. By analyzing clinical spectrum, ON1 and BA genotypes seemed to prevail in mild infections compared to NA1. Conclusion: Results obtained here will have its implication in predicting temporal evolution of RSV at the local level. Considering the insularity of the country, information obtained should help in comparative analysis with global RSV strains to optimize vaccine efficacy.