Comment on “Analysis of hospital traffic and search engine data in Wuhan China indicates early disease activity in the Fall of 2019" by Nsoesie et al.
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CitationChen, Hao, Zi-Ming Du, Yu Kang, Zhenyu Lin, and William Ma. Comment on "Analysis of hospital traffic and search engine data in Wuhan China indicates early disease activity in the Fall of 2019" by Nsoesie et al., 2020.
AbstractIn a recent manuscript, Nsoesie et al. analysed vehicle counts in hospital parking lots and internet search trends, and suggested that the COVID-19 outbreak might have started in Wuhan, China as early as August 2019. This claim received widespread media coverage despite the lack of validation from peers. This review serves as a pre-publication evaluation of the study. We identify several problems and even questionable research practices in the manuscript, including but not limited to: inappropriate and insufficient data, misuse and misinterpretation of statistical methods, and cherrypicking internet search terms. We also reflect on scientific publishing in a time of public emergency.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42689379
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