Estimating the economic impact of a possible equine and human epidemic of West Nile virus infection in Belgium
In 2005, an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) disease occurred in Sacramento County, California; 163 human cases were reported. In response to WNV surveillance indicating increased WNV activity, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District conducted an emergency aerial spray. We determined the economic impact of the outbreak, including the vector control event and the medical cost to treat WNV disease. WNV disease in Sacramento County cost approximately $2.28 million for medical treatment and patients' productivity loss for both West Nile fever and West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Vector control cost approximately $701,790, including spray procedures and overtime hours. The total economic impact of WNV was $2.98 million. A cost-benefit analysis indicated that only 15 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease would need to be prevented to make the emergency spray cost-effective.