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Spraying mosquitoes cost-effective West Nile virus reduction strategy.

RESPONDING to a West Nile virus epidemic in Sacramento County, Calif., cost the local government more than $700,000, and a cost-benefit analysis found only 15 West Nile cases needed to be prevented to make the emergency spraying cost-effective.

The 2005 West Nile virus outbreak in Sacramento County had a total local economic impact of almost $3 million, the majority of which was linked to medical care, according to a study in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. In that outbreak, about 160 human cases of West Nile virus were reported, and local authorities responded by conducting an emergency aerial spray to control mosquitoes.

The study was based on inpatient and outpatient costs for patients treated for West Nile virus infection as well as miscellaneous costs such as home health care, transportation and productivity loss. The study's authors said their analysis may have underestimated the actual cost of the 2005 West Nile outbreak because "pain and distress are difficult to estimate monetarily but probably are important factors in the comprehensive costs" of West Nile virus disease.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Apr 1, 2010
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