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Volume 3, Number 2—June 1997

Perspective

The Economic Impact of a Bioterrorist Attack: Are Prevention and Postattack Intervention Programs Justifiable?

Arnold F. Kaufmann, Martin I. MeltzerComments to Author , and George P. Schmid
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Main Article

Table 2

Costs of prophylaxis following a bioterrorist attack

Level of effectiveness Anthrax Tularemia Brucellosis
Lower
Effectiveness (%) 90 80 80
Drugs useda D or C D D+R
Cost of drugs ($)b 6 or 181 3 220
No. of visitsc 4 2 6
Total cost/ person ($) 51 or 226 28 285
Upper Effectiveness (%) 95 95 95
Drugs useda D+V or C+V D+G D+G
Cost of drugs ($)b 17 or 193 29 36
No. of visitsc 4 7 12
Total cost/ person ($) 62 or 238 104 161
Minimum No. participantsd 451,912 418,094 423,440
Maximum No. participantse 1,492,750 1,488,037 1,488,037

Notes: All costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
aDrugs used: D = doxycycline; C = ciprofloxacin; V = anthrax vaccine; G = gentamicin; R = rifampin.
bSee text for explanation of drug costs.
cCost of visit to drug-dispensing site: 1st visit = $15/person; follow-up visits = $10/person/visit.
dEstimate assumed that the prophylaxis program was initiated on postattack day 6 for anthrax and tularemia and postattack day 113 for brucellosis, that the prophylaxis program had the lower effectiveness level, and that the multiplication factor for unnecessary prophylaxis given to unexposed persons was 5.
eEstimate assumed that prophylaxis was initiated on postattack day 0 (day of release), that prophylaxis had the upper effectiveness level, and that the multiplication factor for unnecessary prophylaxis given to unexposed persons was 15.

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