- Searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ highest in NY, NJ, Louisiana and Michigan
- Data scientist argues Google searches can determine next outbreak of Covid-19
- He also says there is evidence to suggest eye pain could be a symptom of virus
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explained how Google searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ align with the number of positive cases of coronavirus, and why he believes eye pain could be another unofficial signal of the illness.
Most researchers now agree that loss of smell and taste is a symptom of Covid-19, affecting up to 60% of those who contract the illness.
Searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ in the US were highest in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Michigan, which are four cities worst hit by the outbreak.
Mr Stephens-Davidowitz went on to predict that Ecuador could become a new epicentre for the virus based on people’s Google searches.
Writing in the New York Times, Mr Stephens-Davidowitz said: ‘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.