'Outbreak' cracks Netflix Top 10 amid coronavirus spread

As bars, movie theatres, gyms and restaurants close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many people around the world are choosing to stay home and watch TV while practising social distancing.

Netflix and other streaming services are seeing a jump in their numbers for programming surrounding virus-related content.

The 1995 film Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Patrick Dempsey, is now in Netflix’s Top 10.


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As of Saturday, Outbreak was at number nine on Netflix’s Top 10 list in the United States. The streaming service first began releasing the Top 10 lists on Feb. 24.

Outbreak has climbed as high as number three on the streaming service’s U.S. movie rankings, according to Netflix’s Top 10 lists, which are updated daily.

According to the film’s synopsis, Outbreak follows “army doctors struggling to find a cure for a deadly virus spreading throughout a California town that was brought to America by an African monkey.”

Other pandemic-related programming such as the 2011 movie Contagion has seen spikes in viewership.

The film climbed the iTunes charts and Adweek reports that on Tuesday it was the second-most popular film on that service.

Contagion stars Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet.

It follows health-care professionals, government officials and everyday people who find themselves in the midst of a pandemic as the Centres for Disease Control works to find a cure.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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