How Infectious the MERS Virus Is Compared to Other Viruses

At least 1,179 people have been infected with MERS, according to WHO.

The virus has thought to mainly be transmitted from animals -- mainly camels -- to humans, who then rarely pass it along to another human. The R0 of the virus could end up being lower, the study authors said, and the R0 values can change in different outbreaks.

However, even if further studies find that the R0 of the virus remains at two to three people, its communicability will remain far lower than other viruses that are more common.

The SARS virus, which is a coronavirus like MERS, was found to have an R0 of approximately three, according to a 2006 study. In that disease, those sickened with the virus were most contagious when they exhibited the most symptoms, meaning those in close contact and health care workers were the most at risk.

Mumps, which can cause fever and the salivary glands to expand, has an R0 of approximately four to seven people for every one person affected by the virus, according to the CDC.

ABC News' Jan Diehm and Kathleen Dooling contributed to this report.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events