London-based data journalist David McCandless has come up with this graphic, comparing the deadliness of diseases and plotting them against the contagion risk.
His contagiousness metric uses the average ‘basic reproduction number‘ – the number of additional cases generated by a single case of the disease – a statistical measure of how likely an infectious disease might spread through a population.
The graphic comes from McCandless’ book Knowledge is Beautiful, the sequel to Information is Beautiful.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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