The cost of Kansas City's two measles outbreaks
When Kansas City found itself in the grips of not one but two measles outbreaks in March, Tiffany Wallin, a disease investigator for the Johnson County Health Department, was working on it nearly around the clock.
At an infectious disease conference last month, Wallin described being in almost constant contact with a specialist at Children’s Mercy Hospital who was providing recommendations on halting the spread of the highly contagious virus.
“I think we probably talked every hour on the hour, late into the night and on the weekend going, ‘Can you believe this is happening?’” Wallin said.
The strangely simultaneous outbreaks are both officially over, as of Monday, when there had been no new cases in 42 days, or two full incubation periods.
But the costs of containing them are just beginning to be calculated.
What is known at this point is that more than $170,000 in taxpayer resources was spent to hold the outbreaks to 35 total cases — 22 in Kansas and 13 in Missouri.
Some of the $170,000 is federal money, some of it came out of redirected state and local resources and none of it includes other costs that are difficult or even impossible to quantify.
Source: The Kansas City Star