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The Washington Post

How epidemics like covid-19 end

April 9, 2020 | Science

As governments and public health agencies work to treat infected people and control the spread of covid-19, researchers are using mathematical models to estimate how contagious it is and how far it could spread.
This is a simplified model of an epidemic. The main factor, the rate a disease is able to spread through a susceptible population, is called the basic reproductive number, or R0. For a new disease, like covid-19, almost everyone in the population is susceptible — a prime scenario for an epidemic.