Half of Canadians taking extra precautions as coronavirus continues to spread, survey

But just one-quarter say they are concerned about contracting the virus

With a second case of coronavirus reported in B.C. this week, and five nationwide, a recent Angus Reid poll shows that Canadians are remaining relatively calm about the outbreak, at least when they consider the situation here at home.

The results of the survey, released Wednesday, Feb. 5, found that three-in-10 (30 per cent) of Canadians say they are worried about contracting the virus. However, 40 per cent said they are concerned about the impact the outbreak may have on their community and three-quarters (76 per cent) are worried about the global impact as they watch the death count rise in China.

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At the time of publishing, there were more than 24,000 cases of the virus confirmed and nearly 500 have died.

While the majority of the cases, and deaths, have occurred in China, cases have been confirmed in countries around the world, including five in Canada.

And it appears that Canadians are following news about the outbreak closely. Just one per cent of survey respondents said they had not heard much about the outbreak and, according to the Angus Reid Institute, it ranks second to only last month’s plane crash in Iran for engagement on the awareness index.

With so much awareness about the virus, many Canadians are taking extra precautions — 41 per cent say they are washing their hands more often or using hand sanitizer; 12 per cent said they are staying away from public spaces, four per cent are taking public transit less and three per cent said they have purchased a facemask.

And while 31 per cent of respondents said they feel there is a serious threat of an outbreak in Canada, 69 per cent disagree, saying the threat has been overblown.

Click here to see the full survey results.

@JessicaEKerr

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