Pandemic Flash Poll

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We asked our consumer panel about the recent pandemic originating in China, the coronavirus. Due to the developing nature of the situation, we were keen to collect a snapshot of public opinion, to prevent the results from being affected by further information coming out. To achieve this, we undertook a Flash Poll, which returned 2000 nationally representative responses within 120 minutes.

Epidemic v Pandemic

  • Epidemic: A sudden outbreak of disease in one geographic area.
  • Pandemic: When an epidemic spreads, typically across continents throughout the world.

We told our panel, OpinionHive, about the symptoms associated with coronavirus, which include fever, followed by a dry cough which leads to shortness of breath.

3 in 5 respondents (62%) were concerned about the coronavirus. This correlated with age, with younger age groups being less concerned.

24%25%23%18%19%15%49%45%37%40%40%41%0%20%40%60%80%100%70+60-6950-5940-4930-3918-29Very concernedConcernedHow concerned or unconcerned are youabout Coronavirus reaching the United Kingdom?Age Band
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Almost all (92%) or our respondents supported the screening of all arrivals from China, even those who say they are not concerned at all about the virus reaching the UK support screening overall (72%). Since this poll was conducted the government has introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China, however despite this action less than 1 in 3 (29%) are confident that the UK government is prepared for an outbreak of the coronavirus.

92% of people support screening everyone arriving from China
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By February 4, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control put coronavirus deaths at 427, with infections at 20,626.

The West African Ebola epidemic recorded 11,323 deaths and 28,646 infections over a period of 28 months, but only two people contracted Ebola outside of West Africa, both of whom survived.

The 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic recorded the highest number of casualties of any 21st century disease outbreak, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that between 151,700 and 575,400 died within the first year.

According to another recent survey*, coronavirus is likely to be the costliest epidemic to the global economy. Data indicates that by the first quarter of 2020, the virus is likely to cost China about $62 billion, an equivalent of 2% of the country's GDP. The impact on Chinese economic growth prospects is already being felt, as the virus has led to shutdowns across the country.

To find out more, or to request your own Flash Poll, please email

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