What does it mean that the coronavirus has an R0 of 3.30 to 5.47 for its transmission capacity

What does it mean that the coronavirus has an R0 of 3.30 to 5.47 for its transmission capacity

In epidemiology, the basic reproduction number (R0) of an infection is the average number of new cases generated by a given case throughout the infectious period. This metric allows you to determine when an infectious disease can lead to a serious outbreak.

If we apply the most recent R0 to the coronavirus, we obtain a figure that ranges between 3.30 and 5.47, according to this analysis , we are facing a high and worrying value . This means that each sick person can infect between 3 and 5 healthy people and the virus can spread exponentially.


Perhaps more time and data are needed to calculate the R0 of the coronavirus, but if this estimate is correct, we are facing a high value .

The data should be taken with caution because it is the first study to quantify the basic reproduction number in the early phase of the outbreak , taking into account the impact of variations in the disease notification rate in mainland China from January 10 to 21. 2020.

In addition, another important factor to take into account is virulence, which although it is high (that is, it can infect many people), the mortality rate is not very high. In a few days there will be more data . And only a few days is enough, because it will depend a lot on the number of total cases that are counted and that is constantly changing, as we can see in the following interactive map .


Incoming reports suggest that the new coronavirus has a variable incubation period (1 to 14 days) and may also have contagious pre-symptoms. That could make it more difficult to contain than SARS , a coronavirus that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic that emerged in 2003 in Southeast Asian countries, even though the R0 for SARS is similar.

Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses, some of which can cause various human diseases, ranging from the common cold to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Viruses in this family can also cause various diseases in animals.

China’s coronavirus , which has caused an outbreak of pneumonia, has already left at least 80 dead and health authorities have raised the number of infected to 2,744. Most of the cases are concentrated in the city of Wuhan (Hubei province), but the virus has left China and has already reached countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal and the United States. The virus arrived in Europe on Friday with three cases in France.