A graphic and a short film on the Wuhan Coronavirus.
The reproduction number is a valuable piece of information that enables epidemiologists to predict how rapidly a virus (or other infectious organism) will spread within a population. For comparison, Measles has a reproduction number of 12-18, which is extraordinarily high, the 1918 influenza that was responsible for infecting some 500 million people worldwide had a reproduction number of 2-3.
The reproduction number tells us nothing about the lethality of the virus, but it does tell us how quickly we can expect it to spread.
Here is a short film showing the impact that the Wuhan virus is having in one small community in China.