Corona Virus-19: An Understanding of the Production-number R0

Corona virus is an infectious disease at the same time a contagious. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an infectious disease as, “Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Zootoxic diseases are infectious diseases of animals that can cause disease when transmitted to humans”.

It gets into the body and causes problems; some of them but not all infectious diseases spread directly from one person to another.

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Contagious diseases such as the flu, colds, or strep throat spread from person to person in several ways. One way is through direct physical contact, like touching or kissing a person who has the infection. Another way is when an infectious microbe travels through the air after someone nearby sneezes or coughs.

Not all infectious diseases spread directly from one person to another.

Abdul Hafiz Khalid PhD. CHMM, RPIH is a Chemical Engineer/Industrial Hygienist.

Bio-hazard:

A biological hazard or a bio-hazard has the routes of exposure like this agent includes inhalation, ingestion, dermal or mucous membrane absorption may be accidental such as sharp injury, needle stick, may result in a variety of health effects which may be acute or chronic.

Any biological agent which may cause infection or subsequent disease in a new host in some kind of environment should have conditions like a pathogenic, a reservoir of sufficient number for the organism to live and produce, an escape from the reservoir, transferable or could move through the environment by available means, a portal of entry to the new host such as broken skin, mucus membrane, inhalation or blood transfer, and the new host must be susceptible to the agent.

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These are the important conditions for a chain of infection.

An Understanding the Reproduction-number or Corona virus RO

The R0 number is a term used knowing the potential of a contagious disease like COVID-19. Corona virus R0 or the R number is known as the ‘Reproduction-number’ or ‘R-number’. It’s a measurement that lots of countries are using when it comes to making decisions about lockdowns, what restrictions should be kept in place and which ones should be lifted.

R0, pronounced “R naught,” is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is. It’s also referred to as the reproduction number. As an infection is transmitted to new people, it reproduces itself.

R0 tells you the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease.

Abdul Hafiz khalid PhD. CHMM, RPIH is a Chemical Engineer/Industrial Hygienist.

R0 tells you the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease. It specifically applies to a population of people who were previously free of infection and haven’t been vaccinated. For example, if a disease has an R0 of 18, a person who has the disease will transmit it to an average of 18 other people. That replication will continue if no one has been vaccinated against the disease or is already immune to it in their community.

Corona Virus-19: An Understanding of the Production-number R0

Three possibilities exist for the potential transmission or decline of a disease, depending on its R0 value:

  • If R0 is less than 1, each existing infection causes less than one new infection. In this case, the disease will decline and eventually die out.
  • If R0 equals 1, each existing infection causes one new infection. The disease will stay alive and stable, but there won’t be an outbreak or an epidemic.
  • If R0 is more than 1, each existing infection causes more than one new infection. The disease will be transmitted between people, and there may be an outbreak or epidemic.

Importantly, a disease’s R0 value only applies when everyone in a population is completely vulnerable to the disease. This means:

  • No one has been vaccinated
  • No one has had the disease before
  • There’s no way to control the spread of the disease

The existence of vaccines and antiviral drugs made the 2009 outbreak much less deadly.

Abdul Hafiz Khalid PhD. CHMM, RPIH is a Chemical Engineer/Industrial Hygienist.

This combination of conditions is rare nowadays thanks to advances in medicine. Many diseases that were deadly in the past can now be contained and sometimes cured.

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For example, in 1918 there was a worldwide outbreak of the swine flu that killed 50 million people. According to a review article published in BMC Medicine, the R0 value of the 1918 pandemic was estimated to be between 1.4 and 2.8 but, when the swine flu, or H1N1 virus, came back in 2009, its R0 value was between 1.4 and 1.6, reported by the researchers in the journal science.

The existence of vaccines and antiviral drugs made the 2009 outbreak much less deadly.

The average number of people that one person with a virus infects base on the R0 Scale. See the figure below.

Importance of Occupational Hygiene in Public Health & in Working Environment:

Industrial hygiene of the professionals in this subject like an occupational hygienist or industrial hygienist focuses on the recognition and evaluation of various hazards such as this as bio hazard and have made significant progress protecting public health, and workers using the hierarchy of controls.

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Remember, hierarchy of controls such as Elimination, Substitutions, Engineering are the best which I think is the need of the time. By having a “Vaccine” are the best controls methods while the Administrative controls and the personnel protective (PPE) are the second in line.

Social distance is more important. Close contact will render mask in effective.

Abdul Hafiz Khalid PhD. CHMM, RPIH is a Chemical Engineer/Industrial Hygienist.

The use of PPE is the last resort which is in some cases as of today uncomfortable and expensive because ordinary or common type of mask costs 25 cents for a single use. PPE cannot be used as a permanent solution. General public do not like and looks somewhat strange as an out face look.

I do not like personally but have to use under the COVID-19 Administrative order or recently recommend by the WHO for the safety of general public and for the work force on daily bases while working or moving outside for some kind of business or work.

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I hope medical community, virologists, and doctors may to come out as an alternative option under the prevailing situations. Social distance is more important. Close contact will render mask in effective.

Majority of people see use common type of mask that are home made. How to make your own face-mask; see the web page at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52609777.

 

References:

  • Health line, web page at: https://www.healthline.com/health/r-nought-reproduction-number.
  • Modeling influenza epidemics and pandemics: insights into the future of swine flu (H1N1), web page at: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-7-30.
  • Pandemic Potential of a Strain of Influenza A (H1N1): Early Findings, web page at:
  • https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5934/1557.long.
  • Corona virus: How to make your own face mask, web page: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52609777
  • Contagious Disease, web page at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagious_disease.
  • Infectious Diseases at: https://www.who.int/topics/infectious_diseases/en/.
  • The New York Time, R0, the Messy Metric That May Soon Shape Our Lives, Explained, web page at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/world/europe/coronavirus-R0-explainer.html

AUTHOR’s NOTE: This update is of my research of today; situations may change as the controls and prevention techniques may develop from now and later in future.


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