Coronavirus global dashboard, courtesy of Johns Hopkins University's Centre for Systems Science and Engineering . The map can is navigable to allow readers to focus in on particular areas, or to zoom out to see the entire globe.
IN the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, accurate detail about the numbers of cases was proving hard to find.
On January 22, America's Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, began sharing a global coronavirus dashboard, which it had developed for researchers and public health authorities as a central repository of data about the rapidly unfolding crisis.
Other online data bases are tracking the pandemic, but the Johns Hopkins site has quickly become the standard reference point, given the university's international reputation for medical excellence.
The dashboard was built by the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering co-director, Associate Professor Lauren Gardner, with one of her graduate students, Ensheng Dong.
"We built this dashboard because we think it is important for the public to have an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds with transparent data sources," Associate Professor Gardner said in a January 23 article on the university website.
"For the research community, this data will become more valuable as we continue to collect it over time."
Johns Hopkins says its sources of data include the World Health Organisation, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, 1point3acres, Worldometers.info, BNO, state and national government health departments, media reports, and the DXY, one of the world's largest online communities for physicians, health care professionals, pharmacies and facilities.
It says that the various points shown on the map are "geographic centroids", and do not represent addresses, buildings or locations.
An article at the university's Hub website said the dashboard "does not yet predict where the flu-like virus is likely to spread".
Referring to Associate Professor Gardner's recent research, the Hub said she and a team of researchers used international air travel volume, non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations, population data, and reported measles outbreak information to identify 25 US counties most likely to experience measles outbreaks last year.
Her "predictive analysis" was published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
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