Disease outbreaks significantly impact a country’s economy due to productivity losses and impact on the tourism, import and transportation industries.
Key Evidence: A measles outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in 2014, causing nearly 400 confirmed cases, cost nearly US$4 million (around US$10,000 per case), 88% of which was for a mass vaccination campaign, outbreak investigations, and other containment costs. While the U.S. government covered 2/3 of the costs, the economic burden to FSM — in labor and other costs of containing the outbreak, the direct costs of illness, and productivity losses — were the equivalent of the country’s entire education budget for one year.
Key Evidence: In an analysis of a hypothetical disease outbreak scenario, based on data from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, researchers estimated that a large-scale disease outbreak spreading to nine Asian countries could cost the US economy $8-41 billion in lost exports and put almost 1.4 million export-related US jobs at risk.
Key Evidence: During the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in 3 West African countries, fear of the disease in neighboring Nigeria and misperceptions on how disease spreads negatively affected many sectors of the economy – retail, hospitality, airline industries, and certain agricultural sectors.
Key Evidence: A study of a cholera outbreak in Peru in 1991-92 estimates that the national economy conservatively suffered more than US$50 million in economic losses due to reduced tourism revenue, reduced revenue on export of goods and lower domestic consumption as a result of the outbreak of cholera.