Background: Since the first cluster of cases was identified in Wuhan City, China, in December, 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 MESHD
( COVID-19 MESHD
) rapidly spread around the world. Despite the scarcity of publicly available data, scientists around the world have made strides in estimating the magnitude of the epidemic, the basic reproduction number, and transmission patterns. Accumulating evidence suggests that a substantial fraction of the infected individuals with the novel coronavirus show little if any symptoms, which highlights the need to reassess the transmission potential of this emerging disease. In this study, we derive estimates of the transmissibility and virulence of COVID-19 MESHD
in Wuhan City, China, by reconstructing the underlying transmission dynamics using multiple data sources. Methods: We employ statistical methods and publicly available epidemiological datasets to jointly derive estimates of transmissibility and severity associated with the novel coronavirus. For this purpose, the daily series of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 MESHD
cases and deaths MESHD
in Wuhan City together with epidemiological data of Japanese repatriated from Wuhan City on board government-chartered flights were integrated into our analysis. Results: Our posterior estimates of basic reproduction number (R) in Wuhan City, China in 2019-2020 reached values at 3.49 (95%CrI: 3.39-3.62) with a mean serial interval of 6.0 days, and the enhanced public health intervention after January 23rd in 2020 was associated with a significantly reduced R at 0.84 (95%CrI: 0.81-0.88), with the total number of infections (i.e. cumulative infections) estimated at 1906634 (95%CrI: 1373500- 2651124) in Wuhan City, elevating the overall proportion of infected individuals to 19.1% (95%CrI: 13.5-26.6%). We also estimated the most recent crude infection fatality ratio (IFR) and time-delay adjusted IFR at 0.04% (95% CrI: 0.03%-0.06%) and 0.12% (95%CrI: 0.08-0.17%), respectively, estimates that are several orders of magnitude smaller than the crude CFR estimated at 4.06% Conclusions: We have estimated key epidemiological parameters of the transmissibility and virulence of COVID-19 MESHD
in Wuhan, China during January-February, 2020 using an ecological modelling approach. The power of this approach lies in the ability to infer epidemiological parameters with quantified uncertainty from partial observations collected by surveillance systems.