Estimation of the basic reproduction number (ܴ0) of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran

Mokhayeri, Yaser and Mohammadi, Rasool and Aghaali, Mohammad and Nikbakht, Roya and Taherpour, Niloufar and Nakhaeizadeh, Mehran (2020) Estimation of the basic reproduction number (ܴ0) of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran. Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MJIRI).


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Background: Estimation of the basic reproduction number of an infectious disease is an important issue for controlling the infection. Here, we aimed to estimate the basic reproduction number (ܴ0) of COVID-19 in Iran. Methods: To estimate ܴ0 in Iran and Tehran, the capital, we used 3 different methods: exponential growth rate, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian time-dependent. Daily number of confirmed cases and serial intervals with a mean of 4.27 days and a standard deviation of 3.44 days with gamma distribution were used. Sensitivity analysis was performed to show the importance of generation time in estimating ܴ0. Results: The epidemic was in its exponential growth 11 days after the beginning of the epidemic (Feb 19, 2020) with doubling time of 1.74 (CI: 1.58-1.93) days in Iran and 1.83 (CI: 1.39-2.71) in Tehran. Nationwide, the value of ܴ0 from February 19 to 29 using exponential growth method, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian time-dependent methods was 4.70 (95% CI: 4.23-5.23), 3.90 (95% CI: 3.47- 4.36), and 3.23 (95% CI: 2.94-3.51), respectively. In addition, in Tehran, ܴ0 was 5.14 (95% CI: 4.15-6.37), 4.20 (95% CI: 3.38- 5.14), and 3.94 (95% CI: 3.45-4.40) for exponential growth, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian time-dependent methods, respectively. Bayesian time dependent methods usually provide less biased estimates. The results of sensitivity analyses demonstrated that changes in the mean generation time affect estimates of ܴ0. Conclusion: The estimate of ܴ0 for the COVID-19 ranged from 3.94 to 5.14 in Tehran and from 3.23 to 4.70 in nationwide using different methods, which were significantly larger than 1, indicating the potential of COVID-19 to cause an outbreak. Keywords: COVID-19, Basic reproduction number, Transmissibility, Iran

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: samira sepahvandy
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2020 06:56
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2020 06:56

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