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Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 30;92:214-217. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.01.050. [Epub ahead of print]

Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, from 2019 to 2020: A data-driven analysis in the early phase of the outbreak.

Author information

1
JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Shenzhen Research Institute of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China. Electronic address: shi.zhao@link.cuhk.edu.hk.
2
Michigan Institute for Data Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address: qianying.lin@connect.polyu.hk.
3
School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: jimran@connect.hku.hk.
4
Department of Applied Mathematics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: salihu-sabiu.musa@connect.polyu.hk.
5
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; SH Ho Scoliosis Research Lab, Joint Scoliosis Research Center of Chinese University of Hong Kong and Nanjing University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: kennethgpy@link.cuhk.edu.hk.
6
School of Mathematics and Statistics, Huaiyin Normal University, Huaian, China. Electronic address: weimingwang2003@163.com.
7
Department of Applied Mathematics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: yijun.lou@polyu.edu.hk.
8
Department of Mathematics, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: dzgao@shnu.edu.cn.
9
School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: l.yang@polyu.edu.hk.
10
Department of Applied Mathematics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: daihai.he@polyu.edu.hk.
11
JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Shenzhen Research Institute of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China. Electronic address: maggiew@cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

BACKGROUNDS:

An ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) pneumonia hit a major city in China, Wuhan, December 2019 and subsequently reached other provinces/regions of China and other countries. We present estimates of the basic reproduction number, R0, of 2019-nCoV in the early phase of the outbreak.

METHODS:

Accounting for the impact of the variations in disease reporting rate, we modelled the epidemic curve of 2019-nCoV cases time series, in mainland China from January 10 to January 24, 2020, through the exponential growth. With the estimated intrinsic growth rate (γ), we estimated R0 by using the serial intervals (SI) of two other well-known coronavirus diseases, MERS and SARS, as approximations for the true unknown SI.

FINDINGS:

The early outbreak data largely follows the exponential growth. We estimated that the mean R0 ranges from 2.24 (95%CI: 1.96-2.55) to 3.58 (95%CI: 2.89-4.39) associated with 8-fold to 2-fold increase in the reporting rate. We demonstrated that changes in reporting rate substantially affect estimates of R0.

CONCLUSION:

The mean estimate of R0 for the 2019-nCoV ranges from 2.24 to 3.58, and is significantly larger than 1. Our findings indicate the potential of 2019-nCoV to cause outbreaks.

KEYWORDS:

Basic reproduction number; Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

PMID:
32007643
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijid.2020.01.050
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