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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 3

Costsa($ millions) of a bioterrorist attack with no postexposure prophylaxis program

Anthrax Tularemia Brucellosis
Direct costs
Medical: Base estimatesb
Hospital 194.1 445.8 170.3
OPVc 2.0 10.5 48.9
Medical: Upper estimatesd
Hospital 237.1 543.3 211.7
OPVc 4.4 18.5 78.3
Lost productivity
Illnesse
Hospital 21.6 50.9 18.8
OPVc 0.7 3.9 15.0
Death
3% discountf 25,985.7 4,891.2 326.5
5% discountf 17,889.3 3,367.3 224.7
Total costs
Base estimates
3% discountf 26,204.1 5,402.4 579.4
5% discountf 18,107.7 3,878.4 477.7
Upper estimates
3% discountf 26,249.7 5,507.9 650.1
5% discountf 18,153.1 3,983.9 548.4

aAssuming 100,000 exposed.
bMedical costs are the costs of hospitalization (which include follow-up outpatient visits) and outpatient visits (Table 1).
cOPV = outpatient visits.
Upper estimates calculated with data in Table 1.
eLost productivity due to illness is the value of time spent in hospital and during OPVs (Table 1).
fDiscount rate applied to calculate the present value of expected future earnings and housekeeping services, weighted by age and sex composition of the United States workforce (16), lost due to premature death.

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