The effect of public awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey: Analysis of Google trends data Türkiye'de Kamuoyu Farkindaliǧinin COVID-19 Pandemisi Üzerine Etkisi: Google Trend Verileri Analizi


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AVCI K.

Mediterranean Journal of Infection, Microbes and Antimicrobials, vol.10, 2021 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/mjima.galenos.2021.2020.3
  • Title of Journal : Mediterranean Journal of Infection, Microbes and Antimicrobials
  • Keywords: Coronavirus, Google Trends, Measure, Public interest, Risk perception

Abstract

© Copyright 2021 by the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Specialty Society of Turkey Mediterranean Journal of Infection, Microbes and Antimicrobials published by Galenos Yayinevi.Introduction: As the risk of infection in a pandemic is determined by both the individual's behavior and the object being interacted with, understanding how information-seeking behaviors and risk perceptions is critical for public health outcomes. Materials and Methods: This study aimed to analyze interrelated digital footprint data on the internet between January 1 and May 1, 2020 in Turkey. The first data were about search on measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on Google. The second data were obtained from web research using terms related to COVID-19 such as "Coronavirus"and "Koronavirüs"on Google. In addition, this study aimed to examine whether there was a correlation between Google search volumes on measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, recoveries, and deaths. Results: Until the virus was detected in Turkey, it is observed that many COVID-19 related web searches were conducted. The apex point was seen around March 11, 2020, when the first case was announced in the country. The continuous high search volumes about COVID-19 were 28 days from March 11 to April 8, 2020, and a diminishing trend in web searches was observed after April 8. A strong positive correlation was found between the search terms "Corona"and measures to reduce the spread of the virus. On the other hand, there is a strong negative correlation between search volumes and the number of COVID-19. Conclusions: As countries endeavor to flatten the pandemic curve and reduce deaths and long-term restrictions, understanding how individuals respond to this situation has become more important than ever for the ultimate solution to the current crisis. Therefore, authorities should further strengthen/raise national awareness of COVID-19 and keep the public informed.