Cost of Rabies Prevention
The estimated public health expenditures on rabies disease diagnostics, prevention, and control in the US is $245 to $510 million annually. This estimate is based on available data on costs associated with the vaccination of companion animals (dogs and cats), national rabies diagnostic testing, and for biologics for rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreEP). However, the total expenditures on rabies accounting for associated healthcare costs, animal control measures, and time lost from work is much greater.
The number of PEP treatments given in the United States each year is unknown; however, it is estimated to be about 40,000 to 50,000. When rabies becomes epizootic or enzootic in a region, the number of PEP treatments in that area increases. Although the cost varies, a course of rabies immune globulin and four doses of vaccine given over a two-week period typically exceeds $3,000. The cost per human life saved from rabies ranges from approximately $10,000 to $100 million, depending on the nature of the exposure and the probability of rabies in a region.
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