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Insights & Trends 2 min read

Curbing the coronavirus: this accurate map tracks the outbreak in real-time

Curbing the coronavirus: this accurate map tracks the outbreak in real-time

In just a matter of months, Coronavirus has gone from an unknown virus to a worldwide pandemic. But with the bulk of these cases in China, is our global hysteria justified? Track the true spread of the disease in real time.

To date, 80,175 people have contracted coronavirus and 3,038 have died from it, surpassing the 2003 SARS epidemic. This particular strain, called COVID-19, belongs to the same family of viruses as SARS and the common cold and it's believed the virus jumped from bats to humans at a Wuhan seafood market.

While the disease has mainly affected China, it has spread to 75 countries and territories around the world.

To put the outbreak into some perspective, seasonal influenza claims the lives of between 290,000 and 650,000 people annually.

The impact on travel and trade has been great. Cruise ships in quarantine, flights banned from China and a lock down of Chinese manufacturing. The story is dominating world news: images of health workers in hazmat suits, deserted Chinese cities and maps showing the contagion's global spread contribute to the paranoia.


To help see the true scale and impact of coronavirus, we've created a map that shows in near real time the status of the disease. You can search by city level in the US, Canada and Australia, or by province level in China and elsewhere in the world to see the number of infections and deaths in any given area.

We did this to add some balance to the coronavirus story. To show the whole picture. Maps tell powerful stories, but they can also be used to exaggerate the truth. We've seen whole countries shaded on maps illustrating the spread of the disease, when in fact there's only been one confirmed case.

While this kind of mapmaking is attention grabbing, it distorts the reality of the virus' spread. By presenting the data truthfully and openly, the scale of coronavirus can be brought into context.

Ian Dickson

Ian Dickson


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