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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 May;86(5):745-52. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0784.

Economic cost of dengue in Puerto Rico.

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Brandeis University, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.


Dengue, endemic in Puerto Rico, reached a record high in 2010. To inform policy makers, we derived annual economic cost. We assessed direct and indirect costs of hospitalized and ambulatory dengue illness in 2010 dollars through surveillance data and interviews with 100 laboratory-confirmed dengue patients treated in 2008-2010. We corrected for underreporting by using setting-specific expansion factors. Work absenteeism because of a dengue episode exceeded the absenteeism for an episode of influenza or acute otitis media. From 2002 to 2010, the aggregate annual cost of dengue illness averaged $38.7 million, of which 70% was for adults (age 15+ years). Hospitalized patients accounted for 63% of the cost of dengue illness, and fatal cases represented an additional 17%. Households funded 48% of dengue illness cost, the government funded 24%, insurance funded 22%, and employers funded 7%. Including dengue surveillance and vector control activities, the overall annual cost of dengue was $46.45 million ($12.47 per capita).

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