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Web searches can help track COVID-19

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) - Web-based analytics are proving to have value in predicting the spread of COVID. A Mayo Clinic study finds strong correlations between keyword searches on Google Trends and COVID-19 outbreaks in parts of the U.S.

Researchers say the study shows that information in Google Trends precedes outbreaks, up to 16 days, and that data can be used for better allocation of resources regarding testing, personal protective equipment, medications and more.

Mayo neurosurgeon Dr. Mohamad Bydon says waiting for hot spots to emerge is too late to respond effectively. He says using the search analytics is a great way to help understand where future hot spots will emerge.

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Michele Gors

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