free essays
Free essays

Google Trends and Common Diseases in the US

Google Trends and Common Diseases in the US14

GoogleTrends and Common Diseases in the US

Lymedisease is a communicable tick-borne infection that results whenhumans are bitten by ticks carrying genusBorreliabacteria. The symptoms of the diseases were first discovered in theboth Lyme and Old Lyme towns, Connecticut, US in 1975 hence, thedisease was named after the Lyme towns. Three years later,researchers had already discovered that ticks caused the disease. However, the cause of the infection was unknown until 1981 afterWilly Burgdorfer discovered the B.burgdorferi.The disease is the most rampant tick-borne infection in the NorthernHemisphere. Humans acquire the bacteria through bites of the tick.The longer the tick remains in position, the higher the vulnerabilityof an individual to suffer from the condition. The initial signs ofthe infection include fatigue, fever, and headache. Many people alsosuffer from a rash on the spot of the bite. In case the condition isnot treated on time, later signs of infection may include the centralnervous system, joints, and the heart. On the other hand, the WestNile virus is a symptom-free infection associated with viruses foundin mosquitoes. Although many people only experience mild headache andfever, some people develop severe brain inflammation. Presently, novaccine to prevent people from infection by this condition isavailable. The type-2 diabetes (also called adult onset ornoninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) diabetes), is adigestion disorder distinguished by presence of high blood sugar. Thecondition may arise in case a patient has no insulin required tobreakdown sugars or if insulin is resistant. Approximately 90% ofthe diabetic patients suffer from type-2 diabetes. Some of the commonsymptoms of the condition include frequent hunger, extreme thirst,and occasional urination. The most common methods of controllingtype-2 diabetes are through dietary changes and enhanced workout.However, medications such as insulin or metformin may be required.Lastly, rabies is a viral infection associated with causing acutebrain inflammation among humans and warm-blooded animals. The graceperiod of the infection after infection often, range between one tothree months. However, in exceptional cases, the first symptoms mayeither appear in less than seven days or even after a year. Thegrace period of the disease depends on the duration the virus willrequire to arrive at the central nervous system. Humans may sufferfrom this condition in case they are bitten or scratched by dossuffering from rabies. Although dogs are the major source of diseasetransmission, rodents can also spread the infection as well.

2.Background information


Borreliaburgdorferibacterium is themain cause or Lyme disease, although Borreliasensuand strictobacteriaare other causes. Common symptoms associated with the infectioninclude erythema migrans (a skin rash), fatigue, fever, and headache.The disease is diagnosed through physical findings such as rashes onthe bite spot. In addition, laboratory testing can also help toidentify presence of the disease. Once a patient is diagnosed withthe condition, he or she can be effectively treated throughadministration of antibiotics for about a week (Strasheim2009). Some of the measures people take to prevent Lyme disease infectioninclude controlling tick manifestation using pesticides, removingticks immediately, using insect repellants, and destroying potentiallocations that can nurture tick growth. For example, the UnitedStates reduced the deer population from 60 animals per square mile to8-10 animals per similar unit area. This helps to reduce the ticksto insignificant level as most of them depend on the animals forsurvival. Once an infected tick bites the human skin, it injectsBorreliaburgdorferibacteria that begin spreading throughout the body. Throughout thedevelopment of the condition, it affects the central nervous system,the heart, the skin, peripheral nervous system, and the joints(Peterson2001).

WestNile virus (WNV)

WNVis a mosquito-transmitted zoonotic arbovirus classified in the genusFlavivirus.The virus is common in temperate and tropical climate regions. Thevirus was first discovered in the West Nile subregion, Uganda, in1937 hence its name. Before 1990s, the disease was considered a minorrisk among human beings since it occurred intermittently. However,Algeria experienced the first serious human outbreak in 1994. Romania also experienced a large-scale outbreak of the condition in1996. Currently, Asia, Middle East, Africa, the US, Europe, andAustralia classify WNV as an epidemic pathogen. WNV has a takes 2 to15 days from infection until the first symptoms appear. Approximtaely80% of the patients suffering from the disease rarely experiencesignificant symptoms (Lee 2003). However, some people do suffer fromconditions such as meningoencephalitis,WNV fever, encephalitis, and meningitis. Other symptoms that mayindicate prevalence of the condition include cutaneousmanifestations, nonneurologic complications, West Nile Poliomyelitis(WNP), and the WestNile meningoencephalitis. The female mosquitoes are the main sourcesof transmission for the virus. The mosquitoes normally bitePasseriformesorderbirds, which in turn develop high concentration of the virus suchthat other uninfected biting mosquitoes can acquire pathogen after abite. Recently, physicians have discovered that occupationalexposure, contact with infected blood (such as blood transfusion,intrauterine exposure, breast-feeding, and organ transplant are othercauses of the diseases. Some of the risk factors to the diseaseinclude hypertension, older age (over 50 years), diabetes mellitus,and hypertension (Sfakianos et al. 2009).


Type-2diabetes has been increasing steadily since the 1960s. Fr example,the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that approximately 285million individuals were suffering from the condition worldwide,compared to 30 million patients recorded in 1985. Patients sufferingfrom the condition may suffer from long-term adverse effects such asdiabetic retinopathy that affects the eyesight, heart disease, kidneyfailure (corrected through dialysis), strokes, and inhibited bloodflow in the limbs that may lead to amputation. Some of the warningsymptoms that an individual is suffering from the condition includeweight loss, frequent urination (polyuria), increased thirst(polydipsia), and increased hunger (polyphagia) (Levene and Donnelly2007). Other common symptoms used during diagnosis include itchiness,fatigue, frequent vaginal infections, blurred vision history, andperipheral neuropathy. Since type-2 diabetes is a chronic disease, ithas an average of ten-year life expectancy. The short life span forthe patients is attributable to a variety of reasons such as up tofour times vulnerability to cardiovascular complications (stroke andischemic heart disease), increased hospitalization rate, and twenty times vulnerable to undergo limb amputation. In the first worldcountries, type-2 diabetes is the major cause kidney failure andnontraumatic blindness. In addition, it may cause dementia andcognitive dysfunction since diabetic patients are vulnerable todementia. The main predisposing factors of a patient to the conditioninclude lifestyle, genetic, and some medical conditions (Barnett2011).


Rabies(madness in Latin) is mainly spread by dog bites, scratch, orexposure of infected saliva on mucous membrane. Although dogs aremajor causes of new rabies infection globally, bats cause 90% of newinfections in the US while dog bites account only for 5% of newinfections. Aggressive vaccination and animal control programs havesignificantly reduced widespread prevalence of the condition acrossthe globe. Health experts recommend that people who are vulnerable torabies infection should take immunization injection. The high riskpersons include people who work in regions with high bat prevalence,as well as individuals travelling in places with long history of thedisease prevalence (Jackson 2013). According to a recent study,rabies kills between 26,000 and 55,000 people every year. Above 95%of these deaths happen in Africa and Asia. In Australia and Europe,only bats are infected with rabies, while several small islands are100% rabies free. Common symptoms for the condition include insomnia,partial or slight paralysis, abnormal behavior, deterioratingdelirium, terror, paranoia, hydrophobia, and confusion. Once thefirst symptoms for the condition appear, the patient dies within tendays. Traditionally, survival chance of patients who have alreadyexhibited the first signs of the infection is limited. However,Jeanna Giese was treated in 2005 using the Milwaukee protocol andbecame the first patient to overcoe rabies infection withoutundergoing post-exposure prophylaxis. An evaluation process of thetreatment program later discovered that the Milwaukee protocol has an8% survival rate (Kienzle et al. 2007).

3.Hypothesis:the increase in Lyme disease, West Nile virus, rabies, and type 2diabetes in United States from 2004 to 2014

Materialsand methods:Google trends was utilized to generate frequency of searches on eachof these diseases and the assumption was made that each hit in theproxy data represents that someone that has the disease or knowsomeone close to them that has the disease.






Accordingto the database, the Lyme disease and the West Nile Virus has beenincreasing steadily from 2004 to 2014 in the United States. The twodatabases support the hypothesis of the research, which asserts thatLyme and the West Nile Virus disease has been increasing steadily inthe United States hence, the infections can be classified asepidemics in the country.

Onthe other hand, Diabetes type 2 increased gradually from 2004 to2011, where it reached the highest prevalence ever. Then it begandecreasing from 2012 to 2013. However, a significant increase in thenumber of patients affected by the condition is evident from 2014.The database of type-2 diabetes does not support the hypothesis ofthe project because since the condition does not increase steadilyfrom 2004 to 2014. The irregular rise and fall of type -2 diabetesinfections shows that the United States is investing a lot of effortinto controlling the condition.

Lastly,the rabies data implies that the number of people suffering from thecondition has been decreasing steadily. As a result, the rabiesinformation does not support the hypothesis of the research. Theconstant decrease is a positive result that the US has placedeffective measures that can help to combat the disease fromspreading.

UsingGoogle Trends

TheGoogle trends are applicable in determining the existence of aproblem through calculating the number of items that people searchthe key term. The data collected assumes that each time a personsearches the term, he or she is sick or knows someone who is sickhence, he or she would be looking for valuable information to controlthe disease (Kozielski andWrembel 2009).


Strasheim,C. Insightsinto lyme disease treatment: 13 lyme-literate health carepractitioners share their healing strategies.South Lake Tahoe, CA: BioMed Pub. Group. (2009).

Peterson,J. M. Lymedisease.Mankato, Minn: LifeMatters. (2001).

Barnett,A. H. Type2 diabetes.Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2011).

Levene,L. S., and Donnelly, R. Managementof type 2 diabetes mellitus in primary care: A practical guide.Edinburgh: Butterworth-Heinemann. (2007).

Jackson,A. C. Rabies:Scientific basis of the disease and its management.Amsterdam: Academic Press. (2013).

Kienzle,T. E., Alcamo, I. E., &amp Heymann, D. L. Rabies.New York: Chelsea House. (2007).

Lee,M. C. WestNile virus: Overview and abstracts.Hauppage, N.Y: Nova Science. (2003).

Sfakianos,J. N., Hecht, A., and Babcock, H. (2009). WestNile virus.New York: Chelsea House.

Kozielski,S., and Wrembel, R. Newtrendsin data warehousing and data analysis.New York: Springer. (2009).