The coronavirus, which started in China, has been worrying people around the world. With that in mind, experts at the Center for Science and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the United States have developed a website that monitors the spread of the disease. The data in the online graph are supplied in real time with information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and from disease control centers in different countries. The tool gathers the number of confirmed cases in the world, the cities and countries where the disease was detected and the number of fatalities.
READ: Coronavirus boosts search for game Plague Inc and developer warns
At an airport in China, people wear masks and undergo a temperature check to prevent coronavirus – Photo: Disclosure / Xinhua / Pu Xiaoxu
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The system allows you to browse a map where red dots indicate the locations where the coronavirus was detected. It is also possible to see the total number of infected people in the upper left corner of the screen, the number of confirmed cases by regions and a graph that indicates the growth of the virus in China and other countries. On the right side, the table shows the total number of victims and accurate data on the cities where the disease was detected. This information is updated in real time by the panel’s development team, which can be accessed through the link gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
Responsible for the initiative, the professor of civil engineering at John Hopkins University, Lauren Gardner, says that the online graphic has as main objective to bring precise information about the current panorama of the epidemic. «The panel aims to provide the public with an understanding of the disease as it progresses using data from transparent sources.»
Around the world, some disease prevention centers are using artificial intelligence to identify possible epidemics. In the case of coronavirus, a Canadian monitoring platform called BlueDot was the first to identify the outbreak. The system has an algorithm that analyzes data on diseases, related news in different languages and official statements from authorities. Because of this, the tool was able to identify the outbreak of the disease a week before the official data from health organizations were released.
The Coronavirus outbreak also resulted in increased searches for the game Plague Inc., which aims to simulate a pandemic. The search even caused the game’s website to fall and an official statement from its developers. Ndemic Creations says the game does not have a scientific model and that the current outbreak is a real and worrying situation: «We recommend that players seek information directly from local and global health authorities.»
Coronavirus monitoring tool created by the Center for Science and Systems Engineering at John Hopkins University – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
The new virus originated in the city of Wuhan, China, where the first cases were recorded in people who were in a seafood market. The country’s authorities decreed a quarantine in Wuhan and other nearby cities in an attempt to stem the spread of the epidemic. The disease, however, has already been reported in Canada, France, Australia, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and other countries in Asia. So far, there are no cases of coronavirus registered in Brazil or in other countries in South America.
Main symptoms and contagion
The symptoms identified are similar to those of the flu. Patients have difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and fever. In more extreme cases, infected people may experience renal failure, pneumonia and acute respiratory syndrome.
Chinese scientists suspect that the origin of the virus is related to the consumption of meat from wild animals. According to a survey conducted by them, the first infected patients had contact with meat from snakes sold at the seafood market in Wuhan City. Contagion between humans occurs through the air by coughing or sneezing from infected people.
The WHO, the World Health Organization, assessed the risk of international infection as high. The term used by the entity indicates that authorities need to carry out health protocols to prevent the spread of the disease in the world.
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