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What is R0?

R0, or the basic reproduction number/rate, refers to the contagiousness and transmissibility of infectious pathogens. R0 varies depending on a variety of factors and is critical in public health management to ensure infectious epidemics (or global pandemics) are controlled.

R
0 in an estimate of the speed at which a particular infectious disease can currently spread through a given population. Specifically, it refers to the number of people that one person can transmit on average.

Typically, the R
0 varies between <1 if the disease is controlled or not spreading too quickly. If R0 = 1, then 1 person is capable of spreading to 1 other person on average.

If R
0 >1, then the disease can spread to a wider population (exponentially) from one single person, thus potentially creating an epidemic or pandemic.

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