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