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# Explained: What is R0? How will it help researchers in eliminating coronavirus?

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New Delhi, Apr 10: Many people from across the world are currently under lockdowns fearing contract with coronavirus pandemic while researchers and scientists are still in process of understanding its transmission.

Several studies are being done to understand how the deadly virus is, as it help governments make more informed decisions on how to lift lockdown measures with not letting people getting infected by the virus.

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During these studies, the figure 'R0', explains how fast an infection or the virus is spreading among people.

What is R0?

R0, that is pronounced as R-naught, is a mathematical figure, that helps in understanding the rate at which a virus is transmitted among people. It also indicates the average number of individuals are getting in contract with the virus from a person who has already been infected, in a population that does not have immunity for the disease.

In simple terms, if the number of people diagnosed with a disease increases from four to eight in two days, it is likely that the spread of virus would increase to 16 in four days from the beginning.

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If the count of R0 is seen to be stepping higher, it can be seen that the infection is more contagious and people are likely to get affected by the virus.

When the R0 turns 1, it means the number of infected persons remained constant. For instance, every person who is recovered from the disease or succumbed to the infection, there would be one fresh case in the population.

If the R0 is below 1, it can be noted that the infection is transmitted to fewer people. If this rate is constantly maintained for a period of time, the disease can be eliminated.

The rate of spread and disease transmission can be curbed by several alternatives such as finding vaccines, screenings and calling for a lockdown.

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Earlier, this strategy was used to eliminate diseases such as polio and smallpox. With coronavirus spreading around the world, this would help researchers on what can be done in the next step.