The novel coronavirus has spread beyond its origins in China and is raising concerns worldwide. As of February 6, 2020, more than 28,000 cases have been confirmed, leading to at least 565 deaths. Only a handful of cases have been reported in the United States so far.
It is too early to determine the mortality rate for this coronavirus or how it will compare to other major infectious diseases.
The global medical community —including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the National Institutes of Health — tracks those rates. Understandably, the death rate for any disease will vary depending on access to vaccines and medical care. The data in this gallery represents the high end of the ranges.
Some of these illnesses — like the novel coronavirus — spread from person to person. Others come from exposure to infected substances, animals or microscopic organisms.
This is a list of the 50 deadliest infectious diseases on Earth, ranked by mortality rate.