Today, Latin American researchers and global health leaders revealed preliminary results from the first-ever study to estimate the burden and costs of meningococcal disease in the region. The study found a need for improved surveillance and better understanding of meningococcal epidemiology and information on costs to help devise meningitis vaccination programs.
This new research was coordinated by the Sabin Vaccine Institute in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University (JHU’s IVAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new research suggests healthcare costs associated with meningococcal diseases range from $4,500 to $6,500 (USD) per patient, and costs of controlling outbreaks have reached more than $3 million (USD) in some regions.
The WHO estimates that 500,000 cases and 50,000 deaths of meningococcal disease occur annually worldwide. The new study concluded that more and better information is needed to help control outbreaks.
Currently, the only countries with routine immunization programs for meningococcal disease are Cuba and Brazil, though other countries are studying the options.