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Arch Intern Med. 1996 May 13;156(9):1013-6.

The cost of a food-borne outbreak of hepatitis A in Denver, Colo.

Author information

1
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 1992, a food-borne outbreak of hepatitis A associated with a catering facility in Denver, Colo, resulted in 43 secondary cases of hepatitis A and the potential exposure of approximately 5000 patrons.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess (1) disease control costs, including state and local health department personnel costs, provision and administration of immune globulin, and cost of extra hepatitis A serologic tests performed; (2) business losses; and (3) cost of the cases' illnesses.

METHODS:

Cost data were collected from hospitals, health maintenance organizations, health departments, laboratories, the caterer's insurance company, and the catering facility involved in the outbreak.

RESULTS:

The total costs assessed in the outbreak from a societal perspective were $809,706. Disease control costs were $689,314, which included $450,397 for 16,293 immune globulin injections and $105,699 for 2777 hours of health department personnel time. The cases' medical costs were $46,064, or 7% of the disease control costs.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cases' medical costs and productivity losses were only a minor component of the total cost of this outbreak. The high cost of food-borne outbreaks should be taken into account in economic analyses of the vaccination of food handlers with inactivated hepatitis A vaccine.

PMID:
8624166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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