Researchers from the University of Otango have found that the each person who has caught with influenza A (H1N1) could on average infect nearly two others.
Michael Baker, associate professor of the university's public health department said, "Our best estimate of the reproduction number for the Influenza A virus in New Zealand is 1.96, which is somewhat higher than the number we have previously used in modelling estimates."
He also said that a reproduction number of 1.96 meant up to 79 pc of the population could ultimately catch the virus during the pandemic , although only two-thirds of those may show symptoms. This figure could be reduced by effective public health measures.
"In Japan, researchers have estimated the reproduction rate at 2.0 to 2.6 in the current pandemic," Baker added.