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Infodemiology of Bell’s Palsy; Tracing the Seasonality of Facial Paralysis
  • Ender Salbaş,
  • Sertaç Ketenci
Ender Salbaş
Niğde Ömer Halisdemir Üniversitesi

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sertaç Ketenci
Manisa City Hospital
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although there are a few studies on the seasonality of facial paralysis, no studies have utilized internet data for this purpose. The use of internet data to investigate diseases and user-contributed health-related content is increasingly prevalent, and has earned the name “infodemiology”. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to use Google Trends data to investigate whether there is a seasonal variation in facial paralysis. METHODS: In this observational study, the search volume for the terms “facial paralysis” and “Bell’s palsy” for a total of 19 countries was queried from Google Trends, selecting the time interval between 2004 and Oct. 2020. RESULTS: In the Cosinor analysis of data from a total of 19 countries, from both northern and southern hemisphere, a statistically significant seasonality was found in the search volume of facial paralysis. It was observed that facial paralysis peaked in spring in the northern hemisphere and in winter in the southern hemisphere. CONCLUSION: Internet search query data showed that facial paralysis has a seasonal variation, with peaks in spring for the northern hemisphere and winter for the southern hemisphere. Further studies are needed to understand the deviation between hemispheres and the cause of the peak in winter‒spring season.