A couple months back I watched a movie named Contagion. This movie was terrifyingly accurate to the COVID-19 pandemic we have going on right now. I recommend for you to watch this movie when you get the chance. In the movie, a virus had just started to spread, employee’s at the Minnesota Department of Health had a discussion referring to how fast the virus spreads. This article will be about the spreading of contagious infections.
How many people can get infected from one person? That is the most important question about a new virus. The R0 or R-Naught is the mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is. It doubles, or reproduces itself when it’s transmitted to new people, which is why it’s also called the reproduction number.
The values of the R-Naught differ, because different contagious infections have different reproductive natures and factors contributing to virality. R0 can mean that the person infected from the virus won’t pass it on to others; in this case, the virus will die out in a short timespan. The R-Naught can also be equal to 18. This means that 18 people can be infected from one person. In the case of measles, the R-Naught is currently at 18. For our most recent viral outbreak, the most dominant strain of COVID-19 has a R-Naught of 18.6.
The R-Naught has a lot of different factors to take into account other than just reproductive to calculate the value. Infectious period, contact rate, and the mode of transmission all work together to calculate the R-Naught. Having this expression can help us determine the spread of outbreaks before they get too chaotic. Soon, hopefully more information about the Monkeypox R-Naught will be available. To me, it looks like the value is 2-9 currently, based on information from the World Health Organization. Taking the right steps to ensure we don’t have another outbreak is important. I know that health leaders around the world are working hard to make sure we stay safe.