The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported three additional measles cases in Crow Wing County, bringing the state total to 54 confirmed cases.
This outbreak and other infectious disease issues like multi-drug resistant TB and a rise in syphilis prompted Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger asked the state Legislature for $5 million for an emergency fund.
Measles outbreaks are especially costly to deal with because of the intensive follow-up that is needed for each case. For example, Kristen Ehresmann, RN, MPH, director for infectious diseases at the MDH gave the dollars and cents tally for the outbreak work required–an extra $207,096 for the state per 21-day period…and that’s the the “tip of the iceberg”, she said.
This includes not only the investigation on the 50+ cases, but the thousands of contacts that must be followed up with.
In 2011, 16 outbreaks with 107 confirmed cases added up to a total economic burden on local and state public health institutions that ranged from an estimated $2.7 million to $5.3 million US dollars.
A huge burden for the taxpayer that could be prevented.
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