Data_Sheet_2_Strongly Heterogeneous Transmission of COVID-19 in Mainland China: Local and Regional Variation.pdf
Background: The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in the city of Wuhan, China, with a period of rapid initial spread. Transmission on a regional and then national scale was promoted by intense travel during the holiday period of the Chinese New Year. We studied the variation in transmission of COVID-19, locally in Wuhan, as well as on a larger spatial scale, among different cities and even among provinces in mainland China.
Methods: In addition to reported numbers of new cases, we have been able to assemble detailed contact data for some of the initial clusters of COVID-19. This enabled estimation of the serial interval for clinical cases, as well as reproduction numbers for small and large regions.
Findings: We estimated the average serial interval was 4.8 days. For early transmission in Wuhan, any infectious case produced as many as four new cases, transmission outside Wuhan was less intense, with reproduction numbers below two. During the rapid growth phase of the outbreak the region of Wuhan city acted as a hot spot, generating new cases upon contact, while locally, in other provinces, transmission was low.
Interpretation: COVID-19 is capable of spreading very rapidly. The sizes of outbreak in provinces of mainland China mainly depended on the numbers of cases imported from Wuhan as the local reproduction numbers were low. The COVID-19 epidemic should be controllable with appropriate interventions (suspension of public transportation, cancellation of mass gatherings, implementation of surveillance and testing, and promotion of personal hygiene and face mask use).
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