Costing Infectious Disease Outbreaks for Economic Evaluation: A Review for Hepatitis A
With the aim to understand and estimate the economic impact of outbreaks of community-acquired infections, we performed a review focusing on hepatitis A outbreaks, and retained 13 papers that had collected relevant cost information during such outbreaks. All costs in this article are expressed in $US, year 2007 values. The costs of hepatitis A outbreaks ranged from $US140 000 to $US36 million, and the costs per case in an outbreak situation ranged from $US3824 to $US200 480. These costs were typically found to be substantially higher than estimates from cost-of-illness studies (i.e. costs for sporadic cases) and estimates used in cost-effectiveness analyses, mostly because of costly outbreak-control measures. Post-exposure prophylaxis is a major cost factor, especially for food-borne outbreaks. As a result of the increasing proportion of those susceptible to hepatitis A in low-incidence countries, future outbreaks could, on average, increase in size. The increasing occurrence of hepatitis A cases in outbreak situations and the associated control costs should appropriately be accounted for in economic evaluations of vaccination programmes in low-incidence countries. In order to do this, more studies documenting such outbreak-control strategies in terms of costs and resource use are needed.
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