• Since two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK, Google searches for face masks has increased by 88% over the past month
  • England is showing the most anxiety around the highly infectious respiratory illness, followed by Wales and Scotland 
  • Coronavirus has killed at least 213 people so far, with almost 10,000 cases reported across China and 98 cases in another 18 countries

Following the news this morning that two cases of new respiratory infection Coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, search trend analysis by digital agency Blueclaw reveals that face mask sales are set to increase exponentially. 

Despite Professor Chris Whitty’s, chief medical officer for England, reassurances that “the NHS is extremely well-prepared to manage infections”, Brits are clearly preparing for the worst. 

It’s no surprise that coronavirus has sparked a flurry of searches for face masks – earlier in the week, sales of surgical masks began selling out at pharmacies in Seattle, leading concerned Americans to use stockpile resources in New York and Los Angeles, 

The majority of the searches have come from England, with the two confirmed cases being treated in a specialist centre in Newcastle.  

Coronavirus is a new respiratory illness that has not yet been seen in humans – the NHS classed the risk of getting the illness in the UK as low, but this could change if diagnoses rise. 

To avoid coronavirus, the NHS is urging concerned Brits to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, and call NHS 111 if they or someone they know has recently travelled from China – where the virus broke out. 

With nearly 150 million Chinese residents reported as travelling abroad in 2018 and some 120,385 Chinese students currently living in the UK, it was arguably only a matter of time before coronavirus reached Brits.