The WHO began issuing situation reports about a pneumonia of “unknown cause” on 21 January, when 278 of its 282 confirmed cases were in China. The visualization traces the early spread of what eventually became known as COVID-19 within the country.

Below we see Hubei province quickly turn a dark red as the number of confirmed cases there reaches into the hundreds. The shading of other provinces also darkens as their number of reported cases increases. By 1 March there were 80,174 cases in China, according to Chinese government agencies.

Spread of COVID-19 in China.
Spread of COVID-19 in China.
Image: World Economic Forum

About 3,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 to date. As of 21 January, there were six reported deaths, all of them in Wuhan. However, confirmed cases had already spread to three other countries in Asia.

Below we see the spread of reported COVID-19 cases throughout Asia over time (Japan’s tally includes those on a cruise ship in Japanese territorial waters). By 1 March the WHO was reporting 84,867 cases in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions.

Spread of COVID-19 in Asia.
Spread of COVID-19 in Asia.
Image: World Economic Forum

It took a while for Europe to report a significant uptick in confirmed cases. As of 25 January, there were still just three in the region, all in France.

That changed quickly when the number of reported cases in Italy began to spike in late February – an increase that’s reflected below. As of 1 March, the WHO was reporting more than 87,000 European cases in total.

Spread of COVID-19 in Europe.
Spread of COVID-19 in Europe.
Image: World Economic Forum

The impact of COVID-19 has now spread across the globe, decimating stock markets, closing schools, and spurring many people to start stockpiling food in anticipation of serious disruptions to their daily lives. Below we see the spread of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide. As of February 27th, the WHO was reporting more than 82,000 cases in total.

Spread of COVID-19 globally.
Spread of COVID-19 globally.
Image: World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum’s Strategic Intelligence platform contextualizes global issues, industries, and countries in an interactive tool. Many of the topics, including Global Health, feature data visualizations under the “data” tab. You’ll need to register to view.

Global health visualization
Discover more global health information and analysis.
Image: World Economic Forum