Unforeseen costs of cutting mosquito surveillance budgets

Vazquez-Prokopec, Gonzalo, Chaves, Luis F., Ritchie, Scott A., Davis, Joe, and Kitron, Uriel (2010) Unforeseen costs of cutting mosquito surveillance budgets. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease, 4 (10). e858. pp. 1-4.

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A budget proposal to stop the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding in surveillance and research for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and West Nile virus has the potential to leave the country ill-prepared to handle new emerging diseases and manage existing ones. In order to demonstrate the consequences of such a measure, if implemented, we evaluated the impact of delayed control responses to dengue epidemics (a likely scenario emerging from the proposed CDC budget cut) in an economically developed urban environment. We used a mathematical model to generate hypothetical scenarios of delayed response to a dengue introduction (a consequence of halted mosquito surveillance) in the City of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. We then coupled the results of such a model with mosquito surveillance and case management costs to estimate the cumulative costs of each response scenario. Our study shows that halting mosquito surveillance can increase the management costs of epidemics by up to an order of magnitude in comparison to a strategy with sustained surveillance and early case detection. Our analysis shows that the total costs of preparedness through surveillance are far lower than the ones needed to respond to the introduction of vector-borne pathogens, even without consideration of the cost in human lives and well-being. More specifically, our findings provide a science-based justification for the re-assessment of the current proposal to slash the budget of the CDC vector-borne diseases program, and emphasize the need for improved and sustainable systems for vector-borne disease surveillance.

Item ID: 15827
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: dengue, surveillance, public health
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2010 Vazquez-Prokopec et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2011 05:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Inequalities @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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