First Study Estimates Economic Impact of Dengue Illness in Americas at $2.1 Billion Per Year

Deerfield, Illinios (ots/PRNewswire) - The firstassessment of the total cost of dengue illness in the Americasreveals the economic burden to be approximately $2.1 billion peryear, exceeding that from other viral illnesses including humanpapillomavirus (HPV) and rotavirus. Results of the study conducted byBrandeis University were released in the February issue of theAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene(http://www.ajtmh.org/ ).

Approximately 60 percent of this economic burden results fromindirect costs mostly related to productivity losses affectinghouseholds, employers and government expenditures. Direct costsinclude ambulatory and hospital care. Estimates are based on fivecomponents: the number of reported dengue cases, the degree ofunder-reporting, the direct and indirect costs per case, thedisability-adjusted life years (DALYs) burden per case and thecountry's demographic information.

"Dengue is a growing human and economic burden worldwide and in2009 we saw the first major outbreak in the continental U.S. in over50 years," said Donald Shepard, PhD, Brandeis University. "We knowfirst-hand that regardless of where you live, we are all affected bydengue. At Brandeis, we lost a remarkable graduate, Mironda Heston,due to dengue while she was working in Haiti. In her memory, we areextremely dedicated and proud to contribute to a better understandingof this awful virus in hopes to better control it."

Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne virus in the world,recently reemerging in countries that were previously free of it.Globally, the projected number of annual dengue infections isestimated between 50-100 million, with 24,000 deaths, mainly inchildren. When compared to the same countries, the economic impact ofdengue exceeds that estimated for HPV, the most common sexuallytransmitted infection, and rotavirus, the most common cause ofsevere, dehydrating diarrhea among children worldwide.

"Economic impact studies are a valuable tool to helppolicymakers, scientists and health professionals assess the progressbeing made to control and eradicate diseases here and around theworld," said Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, President, American Society ofTropical Medicine and Hygiene. "As citizens of a global world, wecannot tolerate the continued pain and suffering that is caused bydengue. We must forge ahead with vaccine development and communitycontrol, participation and education campaigns."

About the ASTMH

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene ( http://www.astmh.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home1&WebsiteKey=452e1eb1-b2d5-48a7-857a-c789a07c27d1), founded in 1903, is a worldwide organizationof scientists, clinicians and program professionals whose mission isto promote global health through the prevention and control ofinfectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict theglobal poor.

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About the Heller School

Prof. Shepard and co-author, Yara Halasa, are based at the HellerSchool for Social Policy and Management(http://heller.brandeis.edu/). With an international and domesticpolicy focus, the Heller School sponsors a social policy doctoralprogram and five master's programs in addition to having an activeroster of 125 policy research projects.

About Mironda Heston

In September 2004, at the age of 24, Mironda Heston, MA '04,Brandeis University, lost her battle against dengue fever which shecontracted while doing international development work. Linda Heston,Mironda's mother, is "thrilled that Brandeis University is continuingto focus on work that will encourage the creation of a vaccine orother solutions to control or eliminate dengue in the U.S. and aroundthe world so other families do not have to go through what we wentthrough." Mironda was dedicated to improving the lives of thedisproportionately poor and traveled yearly to Haiti where shecontracted dengue. The Mironda Heston Health Center in Haiti and theMironda Heston Memorial Fund at Brandeis's Heller School are named inher memory.

ots Originaltext: Brandeis UniversityIm Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Contact:CONTACT: Contact: Christina Witz, MWW Group, Phone: +1-213-486-6560 x317,Email: cwitz@mww.com

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First Study Estimates Economic Impact of Dengue Illness in Americas at $2.1 Billion Per Year