“Searches for eye pain rose above fourfold in Spain between the middle of February and the middle of March and rose about 50 percent in Iran in March,” he said.
“In Italy, searches for ‘bruciore occhi’ (”burning eyes”) were five times their usual levels in March.”
Italy, Spain and Iran have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the two European countries reporting the highest amount of Covid-19-related deaths.
Mr Stephens-Davidowitz wrote: “search data offers suggestive evidence that eye pain can be a symptom of the disease”, but added that the amount of searches for eye pain were a fraction of other symptoms.
“In New York there are now about one-sixth as many searches related to eye pain as there are searches related to loss of smell,” he admitted.
“Nonetheless, doctors and public health officials should probably look closely at the relationship between Covid-19 and eye pain.”
In recent weeks, a loss of smell has been reported as a coronavirus symptom, and Mr Stephens-Davidowitz added that searches for the symptom were highest in areas where positive Covid-19 tests were most reported.
“In the United States, in the week ending this past Saturday, searches for “I can’t smell” were highest in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Michigan — four of the states with the highest prevalence of Covid-19,” he said.
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