Transmission dynamics of COVID-19 among index case family clusters in Beijing, China

Ying Cao, Yueh Wang, Aritra Das, Calvin Q. Pan, Wen Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The outbreak of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) impacts public health dramatically around the world. The demographic characteristics, exposure history, dates of illness onset and dates of confirmed diagnosis were collected from the data of 24 family clusters from Beijing. The characteristics of the cases and the estimated key epidemiologic time-to-event distributions were described. The basic reproductive number (R0) was calculated. Among 89 confirmed COVID-19 patients from 24 family clusters, the median age was 38.0 years and 43.8% were male. The median of incubation period was 5.08 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.17–6.21). The median of serial interval was 6.00 days (95% CI 5.00–7.00). The basic reproductive number (R0) was 2.06 (95% CI 2.02–2.08). The median of onset-to-care-seeking days and the median of onset-to-hospital admission days were significantly reduced after 23 January 2020, which implied the enhanced public health awareness among families. With epidemic containment measures in place, the results can inform health authorities about possible extent of epidemic transmission within families. Furthermore, following initiation of interventions, public health measures are not only important for curbing the epidemic spread at the community level but also improve health seeking behaviour at the individual level.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere74
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Basic reproductive number
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • family clusters
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
  • transmission dynamics


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