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Annual economic impacts of seasonal influenza on US counties: Spatial heterogeneity and patterns

May 20, 2012 Comments off

Annual economic impacts of seasonal influenza on US counties: Spatial heterogeneity and patterns
Source: International Journal of Health Geographics

This research computed annual economic costs of seasonal influenza for 3,143 US counties based on Census 2010, identified inherent spatial patterns, and investigated cost-benefits of vaccination strategies. The computing model modified existing methods for national level estimation, and further emphasized spatial variations between counties, in terms of population size, age structure, influenza activity, and income level. Upon such a model, four vaccination strategies that prioritize different types of counties were simulated and their net returns were examined. The results indicate that the annual economic costs of influenza varied from $13.9 thousand to $957.5 million among US counties, with a median of $2.47 million. Prioritizing vaccines to counties with high influenza attack rates produces the lowest influenza cases and highest net returns. This research fills the current knowledge gap by downscaling the estimation to the county level, and adds spatial variability into studies of influenza economics and interventions. Compared to the national estimates, the presented statistics and maps will offer detailed guidance for state and local health agencies to fight against influenza.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

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