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Direct medical costs of 3 reportable travel-related infections in Ontario, Canada, 2012–2014

Savage RD, Rosella LC, Crowcroft NS, Horn M, Khan K, Holder L, Varia M. Emerg Infect Dis. 2019; 25(8):1501-10. Epub 2019 Jul 1.


Immigrants traveling to their birth countries to visit friends or relatives are disproportionately affected by travel-related infections, in part because most preventive travel health services are not publicly funded. To help identify cost-effective policies to reduce this disparity, we measured the medical costs (in 2015 Canadian dollars) of 3 reportable travel-related infectious diseases (hepatitis A, malaria, and enteric fever) that accrued during a 3-year period (2012–2014) in an ethnoculturally diverse region of Canada (Peel, Ontario) by linking reportable disease surveillance and health administrative data. In total, 318 case-patients were included, each matched with 2 controls. Most spending accrued in inpatient settings. Direct healthcare spending totaled $2,058,196; the mean attributable cost per case was $6,098 (95% CI $5,328–$6,868) but varied by disease (range $4,558–$7,852). Costs were greatest for enteric fever. Policies that address financial barriers to preventive health services for high-risk groups should be evaluated.

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