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Euro Surveill. 2015 Jun 25;20(25):14-8.

The role of superspreading in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission.

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Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


As at 15 June 2015, a large transmission cluster of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERSCoV)was ongoing in South Korea. To examine the potential for such events, we estimated the level of heterogeneity in MERS-CoV transmission by analyzing data on cluster size distributions. We found substantial potential for superspreading; even though it is likely that R0 < 1 overall, our analysis indicates that cluster sizes of over 150 cases are not unexpected forMERS-CoV infection.

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