How to track the coronavirus: Dashboard delivers real-time view of the deadly virus
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering has launched an online dashboard that is tracking the spread of the deadly coronavirus as it makes its way across the globe.
— which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19 — is believed to have originated in Wuhan City, in Hubei province, China, and so far has killed more than 4,700 people globally. Despite efforts by the Chinese government to contain the virus’ spread, cases have been confirmed on every continent except Antarctica.
As of Thursday, there have been over 1,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and 38 confirmed deaths.
The live dashboard pulls data from the World Health Organization (WHO) — as well as the centers for disease control in the US, China and Europe — to show all confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus, along with recovered patients and deaths. The data is visualized through a real-time graphic information system (GIS) powered by Esri.
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Those infected with coronavirus — known formally as SARS-CoV-2 — are exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Additional resources for tracking the virus include this page from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another from the WHO. These websites list up to date news on the spread of the virus as well as situation reports and maps of infected areas. Researchers from the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University have also launched a virus tracking website with real-time updates.
Coronavirus was first reported to the WHO on Dec. 31, with Chinese investigators linking the disease to the coronavirus family of viruses, which also includes the deadly SARS and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Despite a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the US, CDC and White House officials have maintained the position that the public risk from coronavirus is low. However, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, has encouraged the public — especially educational institutions and businesses — to make preparations for a potential pandemic.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen,” Messonnier told reporters on a media call. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”
Messonnier said that health officials are focused on slowing and minimizing the spread of the virus in the US. Stopping it altogether would be impossible, she said.
Meanwhile, financial markets remain on edge amid fears of the global pandemic. The DOW Industrial has crashed and rebounded several times over the last few weeks, and Chinese stocks have plunged as the coronavirus outbreak worsens.
Individual technology companies have also reported uncertainty surrounding the Chinese market and the impact of the coronavirus, specifically when it comes to the broader technology supply chain.
Apple noted in its first-quarter financial results that the coronavirus outbreak in China is disrupting operations, and then revealed that it would miss its second quarter guidance due to the continued impact of the virus. Apple said the outbreak has hit its iPhone supply chain and lowered demand in China following the temporary closure of its stores in the region. Factories have also been slower to reopen across the country following the outbreak.
“While our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province — and while all of these facilities have reopened — they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated,” Apple said. “These iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect revenues worldwide.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft said that its More Personal Computing unit, Surface, and Windows OEM revenue will miss targets, as China’s supply chain “is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated” due to the coronavirus.
Coronavirus has also significantly disrupted the technology industry’s related annual events. GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, DEF CON China has been put on hold, and Facebook cancelled its annual F8 developer conference in San Jose. Google also announced that hits Cloud Next and I/O conferences would shift to digital formats, and the SXSW music and technology festival was axed for 2020.