A novel strain of the coronavirus – a pneumonia-like respiratory illness – has spread rapidly ever since it first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019. The World Health Organization has declared the disease a global health emergency. At the time of publishing, more than 82,500 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed across the globe, with a majority of the cases coming from mainland China. It is also believed the actual number of 2019-nCoV cases in mainland China is likely much higher than that reported to date.
Apart from China, the virus has been diagnosed 46 other countries till now, including the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, France, South Korea, UAE, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, India, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, and Nepal.
The death toll from the potentially deadly virus had crossed 2,800 at the time of publishing, with more than 33,000 people making recoveries. Deaths have been reported from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, France, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
In response to this ongoing public health emergency, researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Maryland, US, have created an online dashboard to track the spread of the virus across the globe. You can bookmark this map to see live coronavirus updates.
The interactive map, which tracks the Wuhan Coronavirus in near real-time, collects suspected and confirmed case data from multiple government sources. These include the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), China’s National Health Commission, and Chinese website DXY which provides regional case estimates faster than the national level reporting organizations.
“The dashboard is intended to provide the public with an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds, with transparent data sources,” says Lauren Gardner, a civil engineering professor at JHU, who led the team that produced the map.
Interesting read: Facebook’s free data platform now offers disease prevention maps
How coronavirus spreads
Health officials have determined that this novel strain of the coronavirus respiratory illness capable of spreading through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing, and germs left on inanimate objects. About one-fifth of all patients have been observed to become severely ill, ultimately leading to pneumonia and respiratory failure. Since symptoms take some time to show, health officials are also concerned that people with mild (or asymptomatic) symptoms may not be seeking medical care, and hence, all the cases are not being reported.