476. Economic Impact of a Public Health Response to a Measles Case New York, 2012
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Public Health
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C

Measles, a highly communicable viral illness that caused 139,300 deaths worldwide during 2010, is vaccine-preventable. In 2000, endemic measles was declared eliminated in the United States; however, prompt public health response to imported cases remains crucial for preventing spread to susceptible persons. On September 14, 2012, an unvaccinated male aged 9 years with an imported case of measles exposed a highly unvaccinated population at his private school in New York. We assessed the economic impact of preventing spread of measles in this community.


We evaluated public health resources and costs during September 18 (when the case was reported) to October 15 (when control efforts ceased) from the state and local public health perspective. We used standardized economic surveys to calculate personnel hours and associated direct costs, including prorated salaries, and costs of materials and other response-related expenditures.


Overall, 269 potentially exposed persons were identified, including 182 (68%) at the school. Among school contacts, 107 (59%) had no evidence of measles immunity; 34 received measles-containing vaccine as an outbreak control measure, and the remaining 73 were excluded for 21 days. During the response, six public health departments, 18 public health officers, and three laboratories were involved. Public health personnel expended ~495 person-hours, including 44 overtime hours. Among response activities, planning and coordination efforts demanded 50% of personnel time. Preliminary estimated costs to public health were $20,115. No secondary measles cases were identified.


Extensive public health resources and time were expended to prevent measles spread in an unvaccinated setting. These costs emphasize the importance of complying with routine recommended vaccine policy to decrease the burden on public health.

Nina Ahmad, MD1,2, Donna Demeter3, James Nerone3, Debra Blog, MD, MPH4, Cynthia Schulte, RN, BSN5, Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, MD5, Preeta Kutty, MD6 and Ismael Ortega-Sanchez, PhD6, (1)EIS Field Assignments Branch, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (2)Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, (3)New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, (4)Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, (5)Bureau of Immunization, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, (6)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA


N. Ahmad, None

D. Demeter, None

J. Nerone, None

D. Blog, None

C. Schulte, None

E. Rausch-Phung, None

P. Kutty, None

I. Ortega-Sanchez, None

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