COVID Symptom Google Searches Jump 2,400% in Early January

From January 1 to January 4, 2024, Google searches for "COVID symptoms 2024" in the United States shot up by 2,400%. By January 3, it ranked as the 10th daily search trend, showing that many more people were seeking the latest information on COVID-19 symptoms.

sharp increase in Google searches for “COVID symptoms 2024”

Such a recent jump in searches matches what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about the current rise of COVID-19 cases. The CDC found increased virus activity levels in wastewater, hinting that about one in three Americans might catch COVID-19 during this latest increase.

Between December 17 and 23, there was a surge in COVID-19-related hospital admissions. Over 29,000 people were hospitalized nationwide, a 16% increase compared to the previous week.

Methodology

Using Google Trends, Healthnews analyzed the search volume for "COVID symptoms 2024." On January 1, the term's maximum search volume was four, peaking at 100 on January 4. The percentage increase is calculated based on these values, representing the term's relative popularity against the total number of Google searches.

By inputting different terms like "COVID symptoms [year]," we compared the relative search volumes for each year, clearly showing how public interest has shifted over time.

The public interest in COVID-19 symptoms has grown over the years

Ever since COVID-19 emerged in 2020, there's been a growing interest in its symptoms, evident in Google Trends data. Such interest reflects how the pandemic has affected people's concerns and awareness over time.

Searches for “COVID symptoms 2021” falling by 49%.

Initially, in 2020, there was a high number of searches for "COVID symptoms 2020," showing widespread concern as the pandemic began. However, in 2021, this interest dropped significantly, with searches for "COVID symptoms 2021" falling by 49%.

This decrease might be due to people getting used to the pandemic, the start of vaccine rollouts, or just feeling tired of hearing about COVID-19 all the time.

Yet, this trend changed in 2022. Searches for "COVID symptoms 2022" shot up by 239% from 2021. This could be because of new COVID-19 variants or changes in the trajectory of the pandemic.

Continuing into 2023, the trend persisted. Searches for "COVID symptoms 2023" peaked, showing a 64% increase from 2022.

Even years into the pandemic, this ongoing interest underscores that COVID-19 remains a major concern. People still want to stay informed about the latest on the virus, highlighting the need for clear, continuous health information and education.


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