Living in an era of modern medicine, with readily available antibiotics and a huge investment in R&D for new cures, it is very easy to feel distant from the day-to-day global reality of disease.
Our western world of medicine is not yet omnipresent, and even then, people in the developed world continue to suffer from life-threatening illnesses on a daily basis. In this visualisation, Krisztina Szucs presents data charting the volume and impact of the 8 most frequent diseases recorded over 91 days worldwide.
Displayed by continent, the data for each disease can be selectively viewed, allowing the viewer to compare and contrast the impact of different illnesses across the globe.
The visualisation provides a physical shape for diseases that reflect their impacts on society – the short and broad being quick and widespread, the tall and narrow being a constant background threat. For example, dengue fever is shown to be a constant threat to Asia, whilst meningitis struck North America in a shorter, more aggressive contagion.
This is an engagingly accessible way of learning about the impact and spread of disease. It makes the geography and pattern of infections, which would otherwise be confusing data to the casual viewer, clear and understandable.