Article

Economic cost of illness due to E. coli O157 infections in the United States

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1800 M Street N.W., Washington, DC 20036-5831, USA.
Journal of food protection (Impact Factor: 1.8). 01/2006; 68(12):2623-30.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (0157 STEC) infections cause 73,000 illnesses annually in the United States, resulting in more than 2,000 hospitalizations and 60 deaths. In this study, the economic cost of illness due to O157 STEC infections transmitted by food or other means was estimated based on the CDC estimate of annual cases and newly available data from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) of the CDC Emerging Infections Program. The annual cost of illness due to O157 STEC was $405 million (in 2003 dollars), including $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care, and $5 million in lost productivity. The average cost per case varied greatly by severity of illness, ranging from $26 for an individual who did not obtain medical care to $6.2 million for a patient who died from hemolytic uremic syndrome. The high cost of illness due to O157 STEC infections suggests that additional efforts to control this pathogen might be warranted.

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    • "for primary diagnosis (Buzby et al., 1996, 1997; Frenzen et al., 2005; HCUP, 2006; ERS, 2011). Hospital duration for remaining pathogens, as well as durations of moderate and mild symptoms, are midpoints of ranges drawn from medical textbooks, reviews of clinical characteristics, surveillance summaries, outbreak reports, and prior disease burden estimates. "
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    • "Epidemiological surveys conducted over the past several years indicate that E. coli O157:H7 is ubiquitous at the herd level in both dairy and beef cattle operations but prevalence of these bacteria in individual animals or animals in pens varies greatly [33] [34] [35] [36]. Thus, application of strategies for reducing pre-harvest prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 at the farm is important for enhancing safety of bovine food products and mitigating economic impact of E. coli O157:H7 caused disease outbreaks on the public health system and the food industry [37]. Since LEE-encoded proteins are critical in gastrointestinal colonization of cattle by E. coli O157:H7, several studies have reported evaluations of vaccines containing one or more LEE-encoded proteins to reduce intestinal colonization in cattle experimentally or naturally infected with E. coli O157:H7 [31,38–41]. "
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    • "Escherichia coli O157:H7, which is responsible for c. 73 500 cases of infections in the United States each year (Mead et al. 1999), can colonize the intestinal tract of cattle and be introduced into beef products during slaughtering and subsequent processing. A recent study by Frenzen et al. (2005) estimated that 'the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses is $405 million, which includes $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care and $5 million for lost productivity'. Different intervention methods have been used in the meat industry to prevent or decrease E. coli O157:H7 contamination from various potential sources. "
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