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Initial and Long-Term Costs of Patients Hospitalized with West Nile Virus Disease

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  • Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado; Prion and Health Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

There are no published data on the economic burden for specific West Nile virus (WNV) clinical syndromes (i.e., fever, meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis [AFP]). We estimated initial hospital and lost-productivity costs from 80 patients hospitalized with WNV disease in Colorado during 2003; 38 of these patients were followed for 5 years to determine long-term medical and lost-productivity costs. Initial costs were highest for patients with AFP (median $25,117; range $5,385–$283,381) and encephalitis (median $20,105; range $3,965–$324,167). Long-term costs were highest for patients with AFP (median $22,628; range $624–$439,945) and meningitis (median $10,556; range $0–$260,748). Extrapolating from this small cohort to national surveillance data, we estimated the total cumulative costs of reported WNV hospitalized cases from 1999 through 2012 to be $778 million (95% confidence interval $673 million–$1.01 billion). These estimates can be used in assessing the cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent WNV disease.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to J. Erin Staples, Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3156 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521. E-mail: AUV1@cdc.gov

Authors' addresses: J. Erin Staples and Marc Fischer, Arboviral Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, E-mails: auv1@cdc.gov and mxf2@cdc.gov. Manjunath B. Shankar and Martin I. Meltzer, Scientific and Program Services Branch, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: kiu8@cdc.gov and qzm4@cdc.gov. James J. Sejvar, Prion and Public Health Office, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: zea3@cdc.gov.

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