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Coronavirus in Africa: Google reveals search trends

Coronavirus has not affected sub-Saharan Africa, aside from an isolated case in Nigeria involving someone who flew in from an affected area. However, with cases also reported in Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia, search interest has been sparked across the region.

Google has reported the top questions Africans are asking on its search engine around Coronavirus in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The top ten questions in each of the three countries are:


  1. What causes Coronavirus?
  2. How is Coronavirus spread?
  3. Where did Coronavirus originate from?
  4. How long does Coronavirus take to kill?
  5. How did Coronavirus start?
  6. How is Coronavirus transmitted?
  7. How does Coronavirus kill?
  8. How to prevent Coronavirus?
  9. How to treat Coronavirus?
  10. How Coronavirus spreads?


  1. What is Coronavirus?
  2. How to prevent Coronavirus?
  3. What causes Coronavirus?
  4. What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
  5. Is Coronavirus in Nigeria?
  6. How does Coronavirus spread?
  7. How did Coronavirus start?
  8. What is the cure for Coronavirus?
  9. How is Coronavirus contracted?
  10. Who brought Coronavirus to Nigeria?

South Africa:

  1. What is Coronavirus?
  2. What causes Coronavirus?
  3. How did Coronavirus start?
  4. How is Coronavirus spread?
  5. How to prevent Coronavirus?
  6. How many people have died from Coronavirus?
  7. Is the coronavirus in South Africa?
  8. What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
  9. Where is the Coronavirus?
  10. Where does the Coronavirus come from?

As the data shows, understanding the virus is more important to searchers in these countries than preventing it – but the latter question has shot up to number two in Nigeria – reflecting the changing search pattern when the virus becomes a more immediate reality.

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