Explore the spread of COVID-19

A quick blog to flag a truly brilliant piece of interactive applied epidemiology. This lovely little calculator allows you to play around with the visualisation of country temporal trends in confirmed cases, reported deaths, and recovered cases.

The chart below plots, very crudely, the reported number of deaths each day after the first 100 deaths were reported. It’s fascinating to see how closely the number of reported deaths in the UK is tracking the number course of the pandemic in Italy (see here for some insight into how this pandemic is affecting the Italian healthcare system).

Figure: Trend in number of deaths reported each day, by country, since the 100th death was reported


You can play with a number of different variables, including the threshold for the number of cases to mark day 0, and how many days of data you wish to display. You can also select various interventions to add to the plot (such as various levels of social distancing).

Clearly, what this simple visualisation doesn’t do is compare for key variables like testing strategy, reporting methodology, and accuracy of national data – all of which are vital to bear in mind when interpreting these visualisations.

So, play away, and gain whatever insight you are seeking on the progress of this pandemic! (And if you want to see how it’s done properly, see John Burn-Murdoch’s Financial Times feed!)

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