Fighting Zika Could Cost The United States Billions Of Dollars | Mosquito Control
There has been much debate lately on Capitol Hill concerning how much funding should be spent on Zika research and prevention. The economic impact that the virus can have in the US could be immense if proper preventative measures are not taken. Many politicians are concerned that not funding Zika research could cost the government more in the long run. Now researchers are able to estimate Zika related costs with an advanced computational calculator. According to researchers the cost of battling the Zika virus after it has started to spread could cost anywhere from 183 million to 1.2 billion dollars.
Starting in 2015 the Zika virus devastated the South American country of Brazil, and then the virus began spreading internationally. Today, more than forty countries have citizens that have contracted the Zika virus. Six US states are also at high risk for the spread of Zika. These states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
A group of researchers from New York have recently developed a calculator that gives accurate estimates as to how much money each country or state will have to spend to curb the spread of Zika. This calculator takes into account each country and states infection rates, as well as environmental conditions. The researchers determined that any state or country with an infection rate of .01% would face a cost of at least 184 million dollars. This figure includes many different costs including health care costs and loss of productivity. An infection rate of .25% would end up costing 1.2 billion dollars. To put that into perspective, Puerto Rico has an infection rate of 10%. The calculator did not take into account the loss of revenue from tourism and international and statewide travel. Many countries are unable to meet these financial requirements, which may make a global effort to stop the spread of Zika a necessity.
Do you think that the Zika problem will become serious enough to justify a global effort to curb the virus?