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Watch epidemics as they spread in real time with this new disease map

Watch epidemics as they spread in real time with this new disease map
[Images: CDC]

We all know what the map looks like. We’ve seen it in movies and TV shows countless times–it depicts one red dot becoming a red circle and then a red world, as doctors race to contain a global outbreak.

Now that map is a real thing you can explore. Built by Metabiota, a company that consults with governments on the spread of infectious diseases, their Epidemic Tracker allows you to track 70 epidemics occurring right now across the globe. Countries facing epidemics don’t glow a scary red, however. They appear in a cool blue. Clicking around, I learn that measles and salmonella are the most common across the U.S. and Europe–the results of anti-vaccination campaigns and food contamination, respectively. Meanwhile, Mexico and Brazil are dealing with Zika spread by mosquitos, and Nigeria is battling Lassa virus caused by rodents.

An orange dot signifies new outbreaks, and I see such a dot over the Democratic Republic of Congo. The area is struggling with Ebola, and, indeed, the tracker shows that there was a new reported case as of a week ago. With all of the political noise happening in the U.S., it’s easy to miss the ongoing outbreaks communities are still fighting to contain, like this one, which has taken the lives of over 700 people since last year.

Metabiota’s subscribers get access to a more granular map, capable of projecting the spread of epidemics across the globe, but anyone can check out the free version here.

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