Infectious Disease

The financial burden of only one yr for Legionnaires’ Illness circumstances exceeds $ 835 million

December 19, 2020

1 min read

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Using published estimates of medical costs and new calculations of lost productivity, researchers estimated the economic burden of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States to be more than $ 800 million in just one year.

“In the United States, reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease have increased since 2000, but there is evidence that many outbreaks are related to failures in maintaining the building water system and may be preventable.” Madeleine Baker-Goering, PhD, An economist in the CDC’s Global HIV and TB Division and colleagues wrote. “Estimates of the costs associated with Legionnaires’ disease could help inform prevention efforts.”

Economic burden on the legionnaires

Source: Baker-Göring M, et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; doi: 10.3201 / eid2701.191198.

For their study, Baker-Göring and colleagues used 2014 estimates of the incidence of disease, health care utilization, and medical costs of Legionnaires’ disease, which were obtained from published sources. According to the study, they used estimates of water-based and domestically acquired cases, hospitalizations and deaths and assumed that all deaths from Legionnaires’ disease occurred among hospitalized patients.

They estimated the associated costs, comprised of medical expenses and lost productivity due to premature death. They also estimated the costs associated with non-fatal hospital patients, including medical expenses and lost productivity caused by missed work days.

Estimates found that the aggregate economic burden, including medical costs and recalculations of lost productivity, was approximately $ 835 million in 2014. According to the study, the researchers estimated about $ 21 million in lost productivity due to absenteeism and an additional $ 412 million in lost productivity due to premature death.

“Our analysis shows that the economic burden of Legionnaires’ disease more than doubles when lifelong productivity losses are added to medical costs,” the authors wrote. “Our estimate can help demonstrate the value of investing in Legionnaires’ disease prevention such as water management programs and outbreak investigations.”

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