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Swedish researchers say the new coronavirus probably has a stronger ability to spread than the World Health Organisation has estimated…

This is according to a review of previous studies of the coronavirus’ transmissibility performed by researchers at Umeå University in Sweden.

“Our review shows that the coronavirus is at least as transmissible as the SARS virus. And that says a great deal about the seriousness of the situation,” says Joacim Rocklöv, professor of sustainable health at Umeå University and one of the authors of the study, published in the scientific Journal of Travel Medicine.

This epidemic may not be likely to die out

The World Health Organisation estimates that the coronavirus has transmissibility, expressed as a reproduction number, of between 1,4 and 2,5.

A reproduction number is a measurement of to how many people a contaminated person transmits the virus in a previously healthy population.

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The higher the number, the more transferable the virus is and the higher the risk for rapid spread.

When the reproduction number falls below 1,0, the epidemic is likely to die out.

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Coronavirus spread has exceeded growth expectations

Researchers in Umeå in Sweden, Heidelberg in Germany, and Zhangzhou in China have carried out a review of several scientific studies of the new coronavirus, COVD-19. In total, the researchers found 12 studies of sufficiently high quality.

The reproduction number in the studies summed up to a mean of 3,28, and a median of 2,79, which is significantly higher than the World Health Organisation’s estimation of 1,4-2,5.

“When looking at the development of the corona epidemic, reality seems to correspond well to or even exceed the highest epidemic growth in our calculations. Despite all intervention and control activities, the coronavirus has already spread to a significantly higher extent than SARS did,” says Joacim Rocklöv.

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Source: Umea University via

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