Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 11 de 11
Filter
1.
Cureus ; 13(8): e17382, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380094

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:  The role of cheering in home advantage in sports performance is unclear. As anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictive measures have prevented crowds from entering stadiums, analysis of the past two football seasons can reveal important details. OBJECTIVE:  This paper aims to compare the last two football seasons in Italy with the previous six, highlighting changes due to the absence of cheering. METHODS:  We compared the average percentages of points obtained in home matches from 2013 to 2019 with those in the timelapse 2019-2021. The same operation was performed with referee statistics, such as fouls, penalties, and cards awarded against home teams. To do this, we used Welch's t-test and percentage increases. Pearson and Spearman's correlations were searched between the percentages of points collected in home matches and total points earned from 2013 to 2021. RESULTS: The average percentage of points collected by teams in home matches dropped by 8% (Welch's t = -4.3). The negative correlations between home collected points and total points in 2013-2019 timelapse have significantly diminished during the last two seasons (Welch's t = 6.2), approaching zero. Penalties against home teams have increased by 30% (Welch's t = 2.6), reaching 51.4%. CONCLUSIONS:  This research provides statistical evidence supporting the crowd's impact on sports and refereeing performance in Serie A. However, our results also suggest that part of the home advantage is linked to factors independent of the audience. Future research can deepen the above phenomena from a theoretical-psychological point of view.

2.
JMIR Infodemiology ; 1(1): e29929, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376666

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 has caused the worst international crisis since World War II. Italy was one of the countries most affected by both the pandemic and the related infodemic. The success of anti-COVID-19 strategies and future public health policies in Italy cannot separate itself from the containment of fake news and the divulgation of correct information. Objective: The aim of this paper was to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on web interest in conspiracy hypotheses and risk perception of Italian web users. Methods: Google Trends was used to monitor users' web interest in specific topics, such as conspiracy hypotheses, vaccine side effects, and pollution and climate change. The keywords adopted to represent these topics were mined from Bufale.net-an Italian website specializing in detecting online hoaxes-and Google Trends suggestions (ie, related topics and related queries). Relative search volumes (RSVs) of the time-lapse periods of 2016-2020 (pre-COVID-19) and 2020-2021 (post-COVID-19) were compared through percentage difference (∆%) and the Welch t test (t). When data series were not stationary, other ad hoc criteria were used. The trend slopes were assessed through Sen slope (SS). The significance thresholds have been indicatively set at P=.05 and t=1.9. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic drastically increased Italian netizens' interest in conspiracies (∆% ∈ [60, 288], t ∈ [6, 12]). Web interest in conspiracy-related queries across Italian regions increased and became more homogeneous compared to the pre-COVID-19 period (average RSV=80±2.8, t min=1.8, ∆min%=+12.4, min∆SD%=-25.8). In addition, a growing trend in web interest in the infodemic YouTube channel ByoBlu has been highlighted. Web interest in hoaxes has increased more than interest in antihoax services (t 1=11.3 vs t 2=4.5; Δ1%=+157.6 vs Δ2%=+84.7). Equivalently, web interest in vaccine side effects exceeded interest in pollution and climate change (SSvaccines=0.22, P<.001 vs SSpollution=0.05, P<.001; ∆%=+296.4). To date, a significant amount of fake news related to COVID-19 vaccines, unproven remedies, and origin has continued to circulate. In particular, the creation of SARS-CoV-2 in a Chinese laboratory constituted about 0.04% of the entire web interest in the pandemic. Conclusions: COVID-19 has given a significant boost to web interest in conspiracy hypotheses and has made it more uniform across regions in Italy. The pandemic accelerated an already-growing trend in users' interest toward some fake news sources, including the 500,000-subscriber YouTube channel ByoBlu, which was removed from the platform by YouTube for disinformation in March 2021. The risk perception related to COVID-19 vaccines has been so distorted that vaccine side effect-related queries outweighed those relating to pollution and climate change, which are much more urgent issues. Moreover, a large amount of fake news has circulated about COVID-19 vaccines, remedies, and origin. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the Italian authorities implement more effective infoveillance systems, and that communication by the mass media be less sensationalistic and more consistent with the available scientific evidence. In this context, Google Trends can be used to monitor users' response to specific infodemiological countermeasures. Further research is needed to understand the psychological mechanisms that regulate risk perception.

3.
Front Res Metr Anal ; 6: 670226, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266691

ABSTRACT

Background: Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, government authorities around the world have had to face a growing infodemic capable of causing serious damages to public health and economy. In this context, the use of infoveillance tools has become a primary necessity. Objective: The aim of this study is to test the reliability of a widely used infoveillance tool which is Google Trends. In particular, the paper focuses on the analysis of relative search volumes (RSVs) quantifying their dependence on the day they are collected. Methods: RSVs of the query coronavirus + covid during February 1-December 4, 2020 (period 1), and February 20-May 18, 2020 (period 2), were collected daily by Google Trends from December 8 to 27, 2020. The survey covered Italian regions and cities, and countries and cities worldwide. The search category was set to all categories. Each dataset was analyzed to observe any dependencies of RSVs from the day they were gathered. To do this, by calling i the country, region, or city under investigation and j the day its RSV was collected, a Gaussian distribution X i = X ( σ i , x ¯ i ) was used to represent the trend of daily variations of x i j = R S V s i j . When a missing value was revealed (anomaly), the affected country, region or city was excluded from the analysis. When the anomalies exceeded 20% of the sample size, the whole sample was excluded from the statistical analysis. Pearson and Spearman correlations between RSVs and the number of COVID-19 cases were calculated day by day thus to highlight any variations related to the day RSVs were collected. Welch's t-test was used to assess the statistical significance of the differences between the average RSVs of the various countries, regions, or cities of a given dataset. Two RSVs were considered statistical confident when t < 1.5 . A dataset was deemed unreliable if the confident data exceeded 20% (confidence threshold). The percentage increase Δ was used to quantify the difference between two values. Results: Google Trends has been subject to an acceptable quantity of anomalies only as regards the RSVs of Italian regions (0% in both periods 1 and 2) and countries worldwide (9.7% during period 1 and 10.9% during period 2). However, the correlations between RSVs and COVID-19 cases underwent significant variations even in these two datasets ( M a x   | Δ |   =   +   625 % for Italian regions, and M a x   | Δ | =   + 175 %   for countries worldwide). Furthermore, only RSVs of countries worldwide did not exceed confidence threshold. Finally, the large amount of anomalies registered in Italian and international cities' RSVs made these datasets unusable for any kind of statistical inference. Conclusion: In the considered timespans, Google Trends has proved to be reliable only for surveys concerning RSVs of countries worldwide. Since RSVs values showed a high dependence on the day they were gathered, it is essential for future research that the authors collect queries' data for several consecutive days and work with their RSVs averages instead of daily RSVs, trying to minimize the standard errors until an established confidence threshold is respected. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this method.

4.
Cureus ; 12(11): e11794, 2020 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013536

ABSTRACT

Pearson and Spearman correlations are important tools for all scientific fields and are widely used in medical sciences, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This technical report has shown that conventional criteria for evaluating the adoption of these coefficients can conceal substantial scientific information regarding correlations that occur above or below a certain threshold. In particular, the Pearson coefficient can reveal hidden correlations even when data are not normally distributed. Finally, an optimized operational guide to reveal any hidden correlation is reported.

5.
Cureus ; 12(11): e11397, 2020 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976544

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since January 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has raged around the world, causing nearly a million deaths and hundreds of severe economic crises. In this scenario, Italy has been one of the most affected countries. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated significant correlations between COVID-19 cases and demographic, geographical, and environmental statistics of each Italian region from February 26 to August 12, 2020. We further investigated the link between the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and 10 concentrations before the lockdown in Lombardy. METHODS: All demographic data were obtained from the AdminStat Italia website, and geographic data were from the Il Meteo website. The collection frequency was one week. Data on PM2.5 and PM10 average daily concentrations were collected from previously published articles. We used Pearson's coefficients to correlate the quantities that followed a normal distribution, and Spearman's coefficient to correlate quantities that did not follow a normal distribution. RESULTS: We found significant strong correlations between COVID-19 cases and population number in 60.0% of the regions. We also found a significant strong correlation between the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the various regions and their latitude, and with the historical averages (last 30 years) of their minimum temperatures. We identified a significant strong correlation between the number of COVID-19 cases until August 12 and the average daily concentrations of PM2.5 in Lombardy until February 29, 2020. No significant correlation with PM10 was found in the same long periods. However, we found that 40 µg/m^3 for PM2.5 and 50 µg/m^3 for PM10 are plausible thresholds beyond which particulate pollution clearly favors the spread of SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSION: Since SARS-CoV-2 is correlated with historical minimum temperatures and PM10 and 2.5, health authorities are urged to monitor pollution levels and to invest in precautions for the arrival of autumn. Furthermore, we suggest creating awareness campaigns for the recirculation of air in enclosed places and to avoid exposure to the cold.

6.
Cureus ; 12(9): e10719, 2020 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854624

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Between the end of February and the beginning of June 2020, Italy was certainly one of the worst affected countries in the world by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. During this period, Web interest in the novel coronavirus underwent a drastic surge. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to quantitatively analyze the impact of COVID-19 on Web searches related to hygiene-preventive measures and emotional-psychological aspects as well as to estimate the effectiveness and limits of online information during an epidemic. We looked for significant correlations between COVID-19 relative search volumes and cases per region to understand the interest of the average Italian Web user during international, national, and regional COVID-19 situations. By doing so, it will be possible to deduce the mental and physical health of the population. METHODS: We used the Google Trends tool, which returns normalized values called relative search volumes (RSV), ​​ranging from 0 to 100 according to the Web popularity of a group of queries. By comparing the RSVs in periods before and after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Italy, we derived the impact of COVID-19 on the activity of Italian netizens towards novel coronavirus itself, specifically regarding hygiene, prevention, and psychological well-being. Furthermore, we calculated Pearson's correlations ρ between all these queries and COVID-19 cases for each region. We chose a p-value ([Formula: see text]) threshold α=.1. RESULTS: The general Web interest in COVID-19 in Italy waned, as did the correlation with the official number of cases per region (p<.1 only until March 14). Web interest was similarly distributed across the regions (average search volume [ASV]=92, standard deviation [SD]=6). We found that all trends depend significantly on the number of COVID-19 cases at the national but not international or regional levels. Between February 20 and June 10, Web interest related to hygiene and prevention increased by 116% and 901%, respectively, compared to those from January 1 to February 19, 2020 (95%CIs: [115.3, 116.3], [850.3, 952.2]). Significant correlations between regional cumulative Web searches and COVID-19 cases were found between February 26 and March 7 ([Formula: see text]=.43, 95%CI: [.42, .44], p=.07). During the COVID-19 pandemic until June 10, 2020, national Web searches of the generic terms "fear" and "anxiety" grew by 8% and 21%, respectively (95%CIs: [8.0, 8.2], [20.4, 20.6]), compared to those of the period of January 1, 2018 - December 29, 2019. We found cyclically significant correlations between negative emotions related to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 official data. CONCLUSIONS: Italian netizens showed a marked interest in the COVID-19 pandemic only when this became a direct national problem. Web searches have rarely been correlated with the number of cases per region; we conclude that the danger was perceived similarly in all regions. The period of maximum effectiveness of online information in relation to this type of situation is limited to three to four days from a specific key event. We suggest that all government agencies focus their Web disclosure efforts over that time. We found cyclical correlations with Web searches related to negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, fear, and stress. Therefore, to identify mental and physical health problems among the population, it suffices to observe slight variations in the trend of related Web queries.

7.
Cureus ; 12(9): c37, 2020 Sep 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-793329

ABSTRACT

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.7759/cureus.9884.].

8.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(8): e20673, 2020 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-769051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although "infodemiological" methods have been used in research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an examination of the extent of infodemic moniker (misinformation) use on the internet remains limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to investigate internet search behaviors related to COVID-19 and examine the circulation of infodemic monikers through two platforms-Google and Instagram-during the current global pandemic. METHODS: We have defined infodemic moniker as a term, query, hashtag, or phrase that generates or feeds fake news, misinterpretations, or discriminatory phenomena. Using Google Trends and Instagram hashtags, we explored internet search activities and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic from February 20, 2020, to May 6, 2020. We investigated the names used to identify the virus, health and risk perception, life during the lockdown, and information related to the adoption of COVID-19 infodemic monikers. We computed the average peak volume with a 95% CI for the monikers. RESULTS: The top six COVID-19-related terms searched in Google were "coronavirus," "corona," "COVID," "virus," "corona virus," and "COVID-19." Countries with a higher number of COVID-19 cases had a higher number of COVID-19 queries on Google. The monikers "coronavirus ozone," "coronavirus laboratory," "coronavirus 5G," "coronavirus conspiracy," and "coronavirus bill gates" were widely circulated on the internet. Searches on "tips and cures" for COVID-19 spiked in relation to the US president speculating about a "miracle cure" and suggesting an injection of disinfectant to treat the virus. Around two thirds (n=48,700,000, 66.1%) of Instagram users used the hashtags "COVID-19" and "coronavirus" to disperse virus-related information. CONCLUSIONS: Globally, there is a growing interest in COVID-19, and numerous infodemic monikers continue to circulate on the internet. Based on our findings, we hope to encourage mass media regulators and health organizers to be vigilant and diminish the use and circulation of these infodemic monikers to decrease the spread of misinformation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Online Social Networking , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Search Engine , Web Browser , COVID-19 , Communication , Humans , Internet , Mass Media , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Cureus ; 12(8): e9884, 2020 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742989

ABSTRACT

As of May 14, 2020, Italy has been one of the red hotspots for the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the regions of Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, and especially Lombardy were the most affected and had to face very serious health emergencies, which brought them to the brink of collapse. Since the virus has demonstrated local properties, i.e., greater severity and contagiousness in specific regions, the aim of this study is to model the complex behavior of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Italy. In particular, we further investigated the results of other articles on the correlation with particulate matter pollution 10 (PM 10) and 2.5 (PM 2.5) by extending the research at the intra-regional level, as well as calculated a more plausible number of those infected compared to those officially declared by Civil Protection. Through a computational simulation of the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (S.E.I.R.) model, we also estimated the most representative basic reproduction number [Formula: see text] for these three regions from February 22 to March 14, 2020. In doing so, we have been able to evaluate the consistency of the first containment measures until the end of April, as well as identify possible SARS-CoV-2 local behavior mutations and specificities.

10.
Cureus ; 12(5): e8342, 2020 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-567432

ABSTRACT

The ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been responsible for millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths. To date, there is no approved targeted treatment, and many investigational therapeutic agents and vaccine candidates are being considered for the treatment of COVID-19. To extract and summarize information on potential vaccines and therapeutic agents against COVID-19 at different stages of clinical trials from January to March 2020, we reviewed major clinical trial databases such as ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), and other primary registries between January and March 15, 2020. Interventional studies at different phases under the COVID-19 pipeline were included. A total of 249 clinical trials were identified between January to March 15, 2020. After filtering observational studies (194 studies), a total of 56 interventional trials were considered. The majority of clinical trials have been conducted on chloroquine (n=10) and traditional Chinese medications (TCMs; n=10), followed by antivirals (n=8), anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressants (n=9), cellular therapies (n=4), combinations of different antivirals therapies (n=3), antibacterial (n=1), and other therapies (n=5). Five vaccines are under phase I, and there are a couple of phase III trials on the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine under investigation among healthcare workers. Many novel compounds and vaccines against COVID-19 are currently under investigation. Some candidates have been tested for other viral infections and are listed for clinical trials against the COVID-19 pipeline. Currently, there are no effective specific antivirals or drug combinations available for the treatment of COVID-19.

11.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19374, 2020 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-175481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, fake news and misleading information have circulated worldwide, which can profoundly affect public health communication. OBJECTIVE: We investigated online search behavior related to the COVID-19 outbreak and the attitudes of "infodemic monikers" (ie, erroneous information that gives rise to interpretative mistakes, fake news, episodes of racism, etc) circulating in Italy. METHODS: By using Google Trends to explore the internet search activity related to COVID-19 from January to March 2020, article titles from the most read newspapers and government websites were mined to investigate the attitudes of infodemic monikers circulating across various regions and cities in Italy. Search volume values and average peak comparison (APC) values were used to analyze the results. RESULTS: Keywords such as "novel coronavirus," "China coronavirus," "COVID-19," "2019-nCOV," and "SARS-COV-2" were the top infodemic and scientific COVID-19 terms trending in Italy. The top five searches related to health were "face masks," "amuchina" (disinfectant), "symptoms of the novel coronavirus," "health bulletin," and "vaccines for coronavirus." The regions of Umbria and Basilicata recorded a high number of infodemic monikers (APC weighted total >140). Misinformation was widely circulated in the Campania region, and racism-related information was widespread in Umbria and Basilicata. These monikers were frequently searched (APC weighted total >100) in more than 10 major cities in Italy, including Rome. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a growing regional and population-level interest in COVID-19 in Italy. The majority of searches were related to amuchina, face masks, health bulletins, and COVID-19 symptoms. Since a large number of infodemic monikers were observed across Italy, we recommend that health agencies use Google Trends to predict human behavior as well as to manage misinformation circulation in Italy.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Deception , Health Communication , Information Seeking Behavior , Information Storage and Retrieval , Internet , Mass Media , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Attitude to Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Italy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Truth Disclosure
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL
...