2.3 The Reproductive Number

There is a concept of basic reproductive ratio in epidemiology where the reproductive ratio (R0) is taken as the average number of people an infected individual can transmit the disease to. This ratio is used on a larger scale to predict the spread of disease among populations.

The equation for the calculation of R0 is as follows:

R0 = τ x Ĉ x d

(where τ is the transmissibility, Ĉ is the average rate of contact between suspected and infected individuals, and d is the duration of infection.)

An R0 lower than 1 means that an infectious disease is not likely to spread among masses, and an R0 of more than 1 points to the likelihood of disease spread if external intervention is not ensured.

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