Here’s exactly what it means, how to calculate it, and what it is in Australia.
What does the growth rate mean?
Essentially, the growth rate measures how contagious a disease is by telling us the average number of further infections one case will cause.
For example, if the growth rate number was 5, it would mean that, on average, one infected person would be the cause of a further five infections.
As epidemiologist expert Professor Joseph Eisenberg writes for The Conversation: “If R0 is less than 1, the disease will die out in a population, because on average an infectious person will transmit to fewer than one other susceptible person. On the other hand, if R0 is greater than 1, the disease will spread…
“When public health agencies are figuring out how to deal with an outbreak, they are trying to bring R0 down to less than 1.”
It’s specifically used for new diseases that are…