Costing the morbidity and mortality consequences of zoonoses using health-adjusted life years
AuthorJordan, H; Dunt, D; Hollingsworth, B; Firestone, SM; Burgman, M
Source TitleTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
MetadataShow full item record
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationJordan, H; Dunt, D; Hollingsworth, B; Firestone, SM; Burgman, M, Costing the morbidity and mortality consequences of zoonoses using health-adjusted life years, Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 2015
Access StatusNo attached file. Check record for full text access via DOI or Open Access URL
Governments are routinely involved in the biosecurity of agricultural and food imports and exports. This involves controlling the complex ongoing threat of the broad range of zoonoses: endemic, exotic and newly emerging. Policy-related decision-making in these areas requires accurate information and predictions concerning the effects and potential impacts of zoonotic diseases. The aim of this article was to provide information concerning the development and use of utility-based tools, specifically disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), for measuring the burden on human disease (morbidity and mortality) as a consequence of zoonotic infections. Issues and challenges to their use are also considered. Non-monetary utility approaches that are reviewed in this paper form one of a number of tools that can be used to estimate the monetary and non-monetary 'cost' of morbidityand mortality-related consequences. Other tools derive from cost-of-illness, willingness-to-pay and multicriteria approaches. Utility-based approaches are specifically designed to capture the pain, suffering and loss of functioning associated with diseases, zoonotic and otherwise. These effects are typically complicated to define, measure and subsequently 'cost'. Utility-based measures will not be able to capture all of the effects, especially those that extend beyond the health sector. These will more normally be captured in financial terms. Along with other uncommon diseases, the quality of the relevant epidemiological data may not be adequate to support the estimation of losses in utility as a result of zoonoses. Other issues in their use have been identified. New empirical studies have shown some success in addressing these issues. Other issues await further study. It is concluded that, bearing in mind all caveats, utility-based methods are important tools in assessing the magnitude of the impacts of zoonoses in human disease. They make an important contribution to decision-making and priority setting across all sectors. In doing so, they highlight the relative importance of the burden of zoonotic disease globally.
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