In this module, we will continue the discussion of the reproductive number.

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to compute the reproductive number from steady state data
  • Apply the reproductive number concept to ID control


I suggest that after having worked through the material from the previous module, you do another read-through of the “Reproductive Number” chapter of IDEMAB. Some of that material might require more than one reading for it to sink in.


The following videos discuss some further aspects of the reproductive number.

Another explanation of the reproductive number

Joseph Wu explains the reproductive number. He also briefly explains another important quantity to characterize transmission, the secondary attack ratio (it’s not a rate and should therefore not be called that, but often it is, like in this video).

Reproductive number and vaccination

In this video from the “Epidemics MOOC”, Matt Ferrari discusses the relation between the reproductive number and vaccination. We will discuss vaccination and other control strategies soon.

Reproductive number and force/age of infection

In this video, again from the “Epidemics MOOC”, Matt Ferrari discusses the connection between the reproductive number and the force and age of infection.