I reached that estimate after reading a lot of papers and articles that put it in that range. It’s true that we don’t have firm numbers yet though, and that all numbers are guesses. But so far it is believed to be significantly higher than flu. It doesn’t take a very large R0 figure to lead to rapid growth, and indeed we are seeing massive growth, even as we are under-testing. So for a working assumption, it is safe and reasonable to assume that R0 is significantly higher than for seasonal flu.

Wikipedia currently cites these references for R0 on its Sars-Cov-2 page:
The basic reproduction number of the virus has been estimated to be between 1.4 and 3.9.[66][67][68][69]

Disinformation researcher, thinker, writer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and data visualization geek. Twitter: @davetroy Email: davetroy@gmail.com

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