January 31, 2020
Following the news that two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK today, we thought we’d take a look at how prepared Brits are feeling by seeing what related Google searches have soared over the past month. It’s no surprise that it’s been a hot topic around the world – the respiratory virus has killed at least 213 people so far, with almost 10,000 cases reported in China, and a further 98 cases across 18 other countries.
Despite Professor Chris Whitty – chief medical officer for England – assuring the public that the “NHS is extremely well-prepared to manage infections,” Brits are clearly preparing for the worst when it comes to protecting themselves. Searches for ‘face masks’ have increased by a staggering 88% over the past 30 days – understandable considering that sales of surgical masks selling out at pharmacies in Seattle in America earlier in the week.
Also up are searches for rubber gloves, surgical masks and hand sanitizer – all items which the NHS is urging Brits to use.
The majority of these searches have come from England, where the two cases have been confirmed. Brits have also been desperately searching for more information on the highly-contagious virus, with interest continuing to rise for search terms like ‘symptoms of coronavirus’ and ‘how to avoid coronavirus’ across the UK.
The constant reminder of illness spreading throughout the globe seems to have put shoppers on a path to ensure their own vaccinations are kept up to date. Although the flu vaccination will be useless against the virus itself, the public belief here appears to be that any vaccination is better than none.
The situation mirrors that which surrounded a similar epidemic, swine flu, which hit the UK from 2009 to 2010. The first UK cases of swine flu were identified on 13th July 2009, leading to it being announced as a pandemic due to its global geographical spread.
Coronavirus now surpasses the number of cases reported in the Sars epidemic, which spread to more than 24 countries back in 2003. There were around 8,1000 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome reported during that outbreak – but now almost 10,000 people have been infected with coronavirus.
If our search trend analysis has you intrigued and you’d like to see how we can monitor interest in your site (between stocking up on surgical masks ourselves) check out our SEO services.