‘Gut ailment’ Google searches take ache out of finding virus ...

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‘Gut ailment’ Google searches take ache out of finding virus hotspots

Researchers find that where there is a spike in online queries for tummy trouble, Covid cases soon surge

David Millward

A surge in internet searches about gut ailments is helping researchers predict the next Covid-19 hotspots, a study has revealed.

Massachusetts General Hospital in the US found that areas where there was a spike in Google queries relating to diarrhoea and loss of appetite frequently reported a sharp rise in cases of coronavirus three to four weeks later. Other markers included a loss of taste, nausea and abdominal pain.

A link between Covid-19 and gut ailments was first identified in China earlier this year, with about a third of sufferers reporting gastrointestinal rather than respiratory sickness. Other patients complained of suffering from both...

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