According to a Reuters tally coronavirus infections surpassed 2.5 million on Tuesday, with U.S. cases nearing 800,000.
The first 41 cases were confirmed on Jan. 10, just over three months ago, and new cases have accelerated to over 70,000 a day in April. It took around 75 days for the first 500,000 cases to be reported, and just six days for the most recent half million to be registered.
It compares to 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness caused annually by seasonal influenza, according to World Health Organisation estimates.
While experts say actual cases of the new coronavirus are likely higher than current reports, the number still falls far short of the Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and infected an estimated 500 million people.
Despite the growing number of cases in the current pandemic, there are signs that the spread of the coronavirus is slowing with many countries exercising lockdown measures.
At the beginning of April, the total case figure grew at a rate of 8%-9% per day and this has since slowed to between 3%-4% per day in the past week.
For additional information visit our friends at Reuters.