(Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

As the spread of the COVID-19 virus wreaks havoc, the question of how Australia is faring compared to other countries — and what might lie ahead — is being much discussed.

But with the numbers changing by the day, and with countries fighting and tracking the disease in different ways, the figures can, at best, only tell us so much.

At worst, the data has the potential to mislead.