As of 10 March 2020, Italy has reported 9,172 COVID-19 cases with 463 deaths. This study reports real-time effective reproduction numbers (R(t)) and case fatality rates (CFR) in in selected European countries (Italy, France, Germany, and Spain) by 9 March 2020.
Current evidence on the transmissibility and mortality of COVID-19 has been focused on China. Given the rapid increase of COVID-19 in Europe, it is urgent to understand the transmissibility and mortality in key European countries to guide the implementation of prioritized prevention and control measures.
Data were obtained from daily laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, made publicly available by WHO on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports since 14 January 2020. R(t) was estimated by exponential growth rate (EG) and time dependent (TD) methods. “R0” package in R was employed to estimate R(t) by fitting the existing epidemic curve. Both naïve CFR (nCFR) and adjusted CFR (aCFR) were estimated.
The authors report reproduction numbers in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany based on different models. All were all higher than 2, indicating that the outbreak of COVID-19 will continue.
Due to the recent rapid increase in new cases of COVID-19, real-time monitoring of the transmissibility and mortality in Spain and France is a priority.