“With Ebola panic spreading, we thought it might be timely to visualise the data on the infectiousness of various pathogens.
To give a universal metric for infectiousness, we’ve used the average ‘basic reproduction number’ (also ratio or rate). It’s a statistical measure of how likely and widespread an infectious disease outbreak might be – if nothing is done to control the situation.
Every disease has a basic reproduction number but the numbers are scattered across the literature. We’ve web-crawled and gathered them all here in one graphic, plotting them against the average case fatality rate – the % of infectees who die. This hopefully gives us a data-centric way to understand the most infectious and deadly diseases and contextualise current events”