Ashraf El Metwally
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia
Ashraf El-Metwally is a medical doctor with a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (University of Tampere, Finland). He joined the College of Public health and Health Informatics in August 201, while holding an honorary lecturer position at the department of Public Health- University of Aberdeen in the UK. His research interests are in the epidemiology of pain, musculoskeletal disorders and rheumatic diseases, with 15 published research papers and reports in international peer-reviewed journals. His international awards include the Young Investigator Award from the British Society of Rheumatology (2006), First Prize for The Best Submitted Paper and Presentation from the British Pain Society (2007).
With the emerging trend on internet used in every field of life the tools are also developed for the surveillance of novel diseases. By using the method of Google Flu Trend the tool for dengue surveillance was developed known as Google Dengue Trends (GDT). GDT was used to retrieve data on the trend of internet search on Dengue in developing countries like India, Indonesia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Philippine, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela for two years 2013 and 2014. The trends of internet search in Bolivia and Indonesia depicted that internet search for dengue activity was low and minimal in these two countries. Argentina and Philippine depicted moderate internet search in the year of 2013 and 2014. Internet search in Brazil and India remained high for few months. Internet search in the region of Singapore depicted wide variety of activity and the search reached was high during the month of May and June. Internet search in the region of Thailand and Venezuela also showed wide variation and in Thailand the internet search become intense during June and July. Trends of internet search for dengue through GDT corresponds with the true epidemic of developing countries. Thus, systems like GDT might provide efficient means for estimating the burden of dengue in different countries. With the fast growing world the burden of diseases is also increasing, with the present surveillance system it does not seems practical to prevent the spread of disease. Thus, systems like GDT could complement the current surveillance system, as it is both rapid and cost-effective.
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