R0 do you really know what it is and what it means?

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Most people may know what the R0 (pronounced R nought) is, but if you do not read on or if you do, he is a recap and read on. R0 is not a risk or a rate it is a number that can take any positive value. If a population is susceptible to a given infection which nobody is immune too (this is what we call a naïve population). An infection such as Covid-19 is introduced by one individual known as the infective. The infective will make contact with other individuals passing the infection along whilst they are contagious; these are called secondary infections. The R0 number is the average number of secondary infections that result from an infective. The UK population is susceptible to Covid-19.

R0 encapsulates the relationship between an infection and its physical and social environment. The number of secondary infections depends on the ability of the pathogen to survive outside the host and to migrate from host to host. In the case of Covid-19 biological and social factors directly affect the ability of the virus to transfer from one host to another. The main route of transmission for Covid-19 is aerosol, you cough and out comes droplets with virions present, which spread the disease in a range of 1-3 metres. Covid-19 can survive for 9 days on fomites (fomites are objects/materials that pathogens can transmit from) for example Covid-19 virus can survive on a handrail for up to 9 days. The transmission can also be affected by the occurrence and type of contacts that take place in the naïve population, this varies according to socio-economic factors and different cultures. All these factors affect the R0 number.

R0 is central in infectious disease epidemiology because if R0 is less than 1 or equal to 1 the infection will eventually die out. If it is greater than 1, they may be a large epidemic ahead and the infection may become endemic, that is, it will always be around.

The R0 number for Covid-19 is estimated to be 2.5 (based on china). For each person that gets Covid-19 a further 2.5 will also be infected. Basically 1 person infected becomes another 2.5 infected. These 2.5 infective will pass it along to another 2.5 individuals and it goes on and on. For Covid-19 by 4 generations from 1 single infective it will result in 46.5 cases.

Keeping distance away from people, not touching surfaces, not touching your face, washing your hands and washing your clothes will help prevent the spread of the virus. Furthermore, self-isolation to the best of your ability will better yet prevent the spread of Covid-19. Pathogens such as Covid-19 affect people in different ways. Some will only have mild symptoms, and some will have severe symptoms, and some will die. How do you know if you have the immune system to beat Covid-19 even if you don’t have underlying health conditions and you are not elderly Covid-19 may affect you more than it does others? We have a RESPONSIBILITY to ensure we follow these instructions and safeguard our vulnerable populations.

GC Biosciences are closing all consultation rooms across the country and of course worldwide until the peak of this pandemic is over. We simply cannot afford to have our consultants, nurses, phlebotomists and supporting staff at risk. In the meantime, our consultants will work from home and give free advice on diet and exercise regarding Covid-19. Our staff comprises Exercise physiologists, Nutritionists, GP’s, PhD’s and Health scientists who have studied and researched infectious diseases. We are at hand in this time of need and for free to help you. If you need to contact us please use the contact page

Stay safe and isolate.

 

 

 

 

 

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