Epidemic Dengue Fever in Puerto Rico, 1977: a Cost Analysis

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  • Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control (CDC), San Juan Laboratories, Bureau of Laboratories, CDC; Environmental Health Services Division, Bureau of State Services, CDC, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and the Department of Environmental Health, Puerto Rico Health Department, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Puerto Rico

During the period July–December 1977, a widespread epidemic of dengue fever occurred in Puerto Rico. The cost of the epidemic was calculated, using upper and lower limit incidence figures, in terms of direct costs (medical care and epidemic control measures) and indirect costs (lost production of ill workers and parents of ill children). Direct costs were estimated to range between $2.4 and $4.7 million. Indirect costs were calculated by using current (1977) employment and wage data and population extrapolations from the 1970 census, and entailed a loss to the Puerto Rico economy of from $3.7 to $10.9 million. The total cost of this epidemic, therefore, was estimated to be in a range of $6.0 to $15.6 million, of which epidemic control measures comprised 7.8–20.2%.

Author Notes

Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

San Juan Laboratories, CDC, GPO Box 4532, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Department of Environmental Health, Puerto Rico Health Department, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Bureau of State Services, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

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