I read somewhere recently that travel in China was not nearly as high as it is these days, that would tend to skew the comparison to SARS somewhat? Assuming that SARS had a higher R0, yet nCoV has spread further, despite the quarantine efforts
I'd be certain that there's much more travel within China.
Estimated R0 isn't a very useful figure yet. One index case infected 70 on a cruise ship in a couple of weeks, maybe they'll be able to break that down and find that he infected 8, and those eight each infected 8 others - maybe not. It's not something seen elsewhere, so it's highly likely that the fact this happened a cruise ship was related to the apparently high r0 seen there. If - as seems to be the case - that people can be infectious without showing symptoms, thus can be infected asymptomatically, then how do you estimate an r0 when there's no way of knowing total cases - as many are undiagnosed? I'd take estimates of r0 for nCoV with a grain of salt until much more is known.
What I bolded, I meant that there is more travel now than the SARS days. Internationally thats been exploding. Internally its probably more stable but still going, as the fast trains make it more viable to travel further and more often. The point I'm feeling is that the environment is so much different now (more travel and more quarantine) plus the accuracy of data from SARS was highly volatile. I feel that of SARS happened now, it would be much more widespread than it was in 2003. Sortof aligns re the ship you mentioned, nCoV is no more contagious there, but the environment harbours it.
I just find it hard to draw any compariosns to SARS or MERS as Asian travel is so much more frequent (more so internationally but also nationally) than 20 years ago
All just my gut feel though