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A 17-year-old created a website to track the spread of the deadly coronavirus before most Americans even knew about it, reports TODAY Parents.
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The most intuitive coronavirus data management
When the high school Junior from the Seattle area first learned of the deadly virus in China, he designed a website to monitor cases and provide useful facts on the spread of COVID-19.
The website has become extremely popular since the world has grown increasingly concerned with the epidemic: Since Xmas, the website has made more than 3 million unique visitors.
"I thought it would be cool if there was a website that could pull in all the information from all kinds of [sources]," he said to TODAY Parents. "I mainly wanted to create something that would show the data as accurately as possible because there has been a lot of misinformation."
The website itself
The website collects data from numerous sources — like local health departments — and cross-references with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Upon opening, the site's dashboard lists quick facts like the total number of confirmed cases of the virus, the number confirmed outside of China, number of people who've recovered, the total number of countries that have cases of the virus, and the number of people who have died from infection from the coronavirus.
The young person behind it — Avi Schiffmann — is a self-taught coder who does hackathons and wants to "create something really big" one day. He created a program that updates its logistics and statistics every 10 minutes.
Despite the automated function, Schiffmann commits roughly six hours per day to improve his website.
"I'm always adding new features. It's going to adapt as it goes along," he said to TODAY Parents. "In the future it might be less interesting to know there are five cases in France. We might be more interested in knowing the percentage increase from last week to this week."
Future data features
He expects to add a featured table with cases from every U.S. state and a vaccine tracker soon. He's noticed some patterns in the way the world handles the coronavirus.
"It is really concerning how unprepared the world is," Schiffman said to TODAY Parents. "In the future the world needs to be a lot more prepared for a pandemic."
Some nations, like South Korea, appear to be better at managing the coronavirus crisis than others, like Iran, said Schiffmann. "A lot of countries are not really transparent with their population," he said to TODAY Parents. "There are tons of countries under-reporting their numbers not to freak out their population."
It's easy to feel panicked or become overly-concerned with negatives, said Schiffmann, but he likes hearing about how his site is helping people globally.
"Most of my emails are really cool. One of my favorite emails was this guy that was traveling in Beijing and he got quarantined there and he emailed me saying how he used my site all the time to get information," said Schiffman to TODAY Parents. "There are a lot of people who use my website if they are going to travel and they want to know if they are going to be safe. It is really neat to see all that stuff."
As even the WHO warns that the deadly coronavirus is about to reach pandemic levels, people all over the world will naturally find new unprecedented ways to help others come together, which is why checking here is a great way to find the latest data on the deadly coronavirus.