Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this article in BMJ Open: Calculating the burden of disease of avian-origin H7N9 infections in China. The abstract:
Objective A total of 131 cases of avian-originated H7N9 infection have been confirmed in China mainland from February 2013 to May 2013. We calculated the overall burden of H7N9 cases in China as of 31 May 2013 to provide an example of comprehensive burden of disease in the 21st century from an acute animal-borne emerging infectious disease.
Design We present an accurate and operable method for estimating the burden of H7N9 cases in China. The main drivers of economic loss were identified. Costs were broken down into direct (outpatient and inpatient examination and treatment) and indirect costs (cost of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and losses in the poultry industry), which were estimated based on field surveys and China statistical year book.
Setting Models were applied to estimate the overall burden of H7N9 cases in China.
Participants 131 laboratory-confirmed H7N9 cases by 31 May 2013.
Outcome measure Burden of H7N9 cases including direct and indirect losses.
Results The total direct medical cost was ¥16 422 535 (US$2 627 606). The mean cost for each patient was ¥10 117 (US$1619) for mild patients, ¥139 323 (US$22 292) for severe cases without death and ¥205 976 (US$32 956) for severe cases with death. The total cost of DALYs was ¥17 356 561 (US$2 777 050).
The poultry industry losses amounted to ¥7.75 billion (US$1.24 billion) in 10 affected provinces and ¥3.68 billion (USD$0.59 billion) in eight non-affected adjacent provinces.
Conclusions The huge poultry industry losses followed live poultry markets closing down and poultry slaughtering in some areas. Though the proportion of direct medical losses and DALYs losses in the estimate of H7N9 burden was small, the medical costs per case were extremely high (particularly for addressing the use of modern medical devices). A cost-effectiveness assessment for the intervention should be conducted in a future study.