MERS

Joint estimates of basic reproduction number, R0, and dispersion parameter, k, for MERS-CoV (from ref. 1).

Joint estimates of basic reproduction number, R0, and dispersion parameter, k, for MERS-CoV (from ref. 1).

South Korea experienced a large outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from May to July 2015. During that time, our research group provided real-time estimates of the reproduction number on the following website: http://rpubs.com/althaus/mers.

We also estimated the level of heterogeneity in MERS-CoV transmission and found substantial potential for superspreading events (1). Even though it is likely that R0 < 1 overall, our analysis indicates that cluster sizes of over 150 cases – as observed in South Korea – are not unexpected for MERS-CoV infection.

The R code file that was used for the analysis can be found on GitHub.

Publications
  1. Kucharski AJ, Althaus CL. (2015) The role of superspreading in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission. Euro Surveill, 20:pii=21167(25).