This terrifying graph shows how fast the Wuhan virus has spread so far, and how close it is to becoming a global pandemic

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An alarming graph shows how fast the Wuhan coronavirus has spread in the past two weeks alone and highlights how soon it could become a pandemic.

The bar graph was posted on Twitter by Cate Cadell, the China correspondent for Reuters, on Wednesday. 

It shows that in the last three days, the number of infections has risen sharply, as have the number of deaths, and the number of countries discovering infected people.

It's not clear who made the graph, but the data on it is current. Business Insider has contacted Cadell for clarification.

The outbreak of the pneumonia-like virus - also known as 2019-nCoV - was first discovered in Wuhan, central China, on December 31, 2019.

Nine days later, state broadcaster China Central Television reported that multiple people who were sick had tested positive for 2019-nCoV - the first formal identification of the disease.

As of Wednesday, the virus had killed nine people in China and infected 440 worldwide, according to China's health commission.

Some 2,197 other people have been identified as having been in close contact with the virus, though 765 have been released, Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said Wednesday. Those figures were accurate as of midnight local time on Tuesday.

He also called on people not to visit or leave the city, effectively imposing a quasi-quarantine.

"Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city," Li said.

The Wuhan virus may soon be named a pandemic - meaning it will be defined as the "worldwide spread of a new disease" by the World Health Organization - after cases were reported in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand; as well as one in the US on Tuesday.

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