Terrorism, drugs, malaria: How does COVID-19 compare to other global killers?

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world, claiming more than 400,000 lives and destroying global economies.

But how does it compare to other mass killers like terrorism or the flu?

About 15 per cent of all human deaths around the world are caused by infectious and parasitic diseases, according to the World Health Organisation.

In recent years, malaria – a parasitic disease spread through mosquito bites – has been one of the deadliest.

In 2018, an estimated 228 million people were infected with the disease, and roughly 405,000 died as a result, World Health Organisation data shows.

Most of those victims were children under five years old (67 per cent) that were living in African countries (94 per cent).

Enter 2020.

What started as a mystery “pneumonia-like” illness in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now infected more than seven million people and killed upward of 419,000.

And in countries like Brazil and Russia, where infection rates are rapidly climbing, the death toll is set to increase further yet.

To compare how the coronavirus death toll stacks up against other global killers, data visualisation company Flourish has created a bar chart using information from the Global Burden of Disease study, Worldometers populations and Johns Hopkins COVID repository.


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