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Watch how quickly COVID-19 is spreading around the U.S. and world with these 3 animated maps

Watch how quickly COVID-19 is spreading around the U.S. and world with these 3 animated maps

One of the more frightening things about the new coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, last year is how quickly it’s spreading around the world.

For a disease that didn’t even have a name until February 12—that’s when health officials dubbed it COVID-19—it seems to have become a global problem almost overnight. As of this week, more than 109,000 cases have been confirmed around the world, with more than 500 in the United States. In all, about 97 countries have seen instances of the coronavirus, the New York Times reports. And those are probably conservative estimates given that many people with mild symptoms may not seek testing or treatment.

Seeing exactly how and when COVID-19 spread from China to other countries and continents offers a reminder of how interconnected the world is in the 21st century. And there are some compelling animated maps out there that do just that. If you’re interested in watching the global spread unfold in a matter of seconds, I’ve rounded up three well-executed map animations below:

  • HealthMap: This is one of the best animations I could find. Contributors from a number of academic institutions, including Harvard, the University of Washington, and Boston University, used the open mapping tool HealthMap to show the coronavirus spread. Just hit the green “animate spread” button in the top-right corner. The map is updated through today. Find it here.
  • NBC: The network’s local New York affiliate published a visually stunning animation and detailed list of case counts sourced with data from Johns Hopkins. Find it here.
  • WawamuStats: This popular YouTube channel published a time-lapsed map animation video on March 4. It’s since attracted more than 1.4 million views. Find it here.
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