Risk estimation of the SARS-CoV-2 acute respiratory disease outbreak outside China.Theor Biol Med Model. 2020 06 05; 17(1):9.TB
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to the occurrence of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, that were caused by an unknown virus, which was later identified as a coronavirus and named the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We aimed to estimate the reproductive number of SARS-CoV-2 in the Hubei Province and evaluate the risk of an acute respiratory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak outside China by using a mathematical model and stochastic simulations.
We constructed a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics, estimated the rate of transmission, and calculated the reproductive number in Hubei Province by using case-report data from January 11 to February 6, 2020. The possible number of secondary cases outside China was estimated by stochastic simulations in various scenarios of reductions in the duration to quarantine and rate of transmission. The rate of transmission was estimated as 0.8238 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8095-0.8382), and the basic reproductive number as 4.1192 (95% CI 4.0473-4.1912). Assuming the same rate of transmission as in Hubei Province, the possibility of no local transmission is 54.9% with a 24-h quarantine strategy, and the possibility of more than 20 local transmission cases is 7% outside of China.
The reproductive number for SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics is significantly higher compared to that of the previous SARS epidemic in China. This implies that human-to-human transmission is a significant factor for contagion in Hubei Province. Results of the stochastic simulation emphasize the role of quarantine implementation, which is critical to prevent and control the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak outside China.