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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 6

Potential factors affecting the economic impact of a bioterrorist attack

Potential impact on Factor Relative magnitude net savings of impact
Higher than projected case-fatality rate Increase ++++
Long term illness (physical and psychological) Increase ++
Decontamination and disposal of biohazardous waste Increase ++
Disruptions in commerce (local, national, and international) Increase ++
Animal illness and death Increase +
Lower than projected effectiveness of prophylaxis Decrease - - -
Adverse drug reactions due to prophylaxis Decrease -
Postattack prophylaxis distribution costs, including crowd control and security Decrease -
Training and other skill maintenance costs Decrease -
Procurement and storage of antimicrobial drugs and vaccines before attack Decrease -
Criminal investigations and court costs Variable +/-

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