An interactive tool lets you compare rising coronavirus case totals country by country, starting at ‘day zero’ of each outbreak

A passenger is checked with a thermal scanner at the El Salvador International Airport on March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
  • A new data-visualisation tool lets you compare various countries’ coronavirus outbreaks on the same time scale, starting from the first day each country reported a case.
  • The tool – created by data scientists Joe Brew, Ben Brew, and Xing Brew – uses data from Johns Hopkins to compare how case totals have risen over time in different places.
  • You can select the countries you want to compare below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A new data-visualisation tool allows you to compare rising coronavirus cases country by country on the same time scale- creating a revealing juxtaposition of various outbreaks around the world.

The coronavirus has killed more than 5,300 people and infected over 140,000 people. The World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic on Wednesday. China’s case count seems to be flattening, but other countries, especially South Korea, Iran, Italy, and the US, have seen numbers spike in the last few weeks.

The tool below reveals how the trajectory of outbreaks in different countries has progressed. You can pick the countries you want to compare and also select what to consider “day zero” of the outbreak – that could be the very first reported case or the 100-case mark. You can also choose whether to compare countries by total cumulative cases or on a logarithmic scale.

The tool aligns the timelines to your parameters, producing a comparison of how each country’s case total has risen.

The data is pulled from Johns Hopkins‘ public health dashboard, and the tool was developed by data scientists Joe Brew, Ben Brew, and Xing Brew, who run the Databrew project.

Outbreak comparisons

The graph below uses the 150-case mark as the basis of comparison between Italy, South Korea, and the US.


With that parameter, the US’ outbreak appears to be following the path of Italy’s pretty closely – Italy is just farther along into the progression.

This chart shows how China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy’s outbreaks look in the tool:


Cumulatively, China’s case count grew far faster than other countries’ did, since the disease emerged in China first. But the shape of the curve shows how China’s total has leveled off. The World Health Organisation said in a press briefing on Friday that the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic has shifted to Europe.

South Korea, meanwhile, has fewer cumulative cases than Italy or Iran even though more days have passed since it hit the 150-case mark.

Here are the latest totals worldwide and in the US: