In our increasingly globalized world, a single infected person can board a plane and spread a virus across continents and international time zones. This animation, commissioned by TED-Ed, describes the history of pandemics and how scientific knowledge of the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases can help halt future outbreaks before they spread worldwide.

The first collaboration between Mark Honigsbaum and Patrick Blower (animation by Graham Majin), ‘How Pandemics Spread' has had in excess of 2.6 million views since it was uploaded to the TED platform eight years ago. It has also featured in thousands of lessons in flipped classrooms across North America.