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Cost of Public Health Response and Outbreak Control With a Third Dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine During a University Mumps Outbreak—Iowa, 2015–2016
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  • Alternative Title:
    Open Forum Infect Dis
  • Description:

    The United States is experiencing mumps outbreaks in settings with high 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage, mainly universities. The economic impact of mumps outbreaks on public health systems is largely unknown. During a 2015–2016 mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa, we estimated the cost of public health response that included a third dose of MMR vaccine.


    Data on activities performed, personnel hours spent, MMR vaccine doses administered, miles traveled, hourly earnings, and unitary costs were collected using a customized data tool. These data were then used to calculate associated costs.


    Approximately 6300 hours of personnel time were required from state and local public health institutions and the university, including for vaccination and laboratory work. Among activities demanding time were case/contact investigation (36%), response planning/coordination (20%), and specimen testing and report preparation (13% each). A total of 4736 MMR doses were administered and 1920 miles traveled. The total cost was >$649 000, roughly equally distributed between standard outbreak control activities and third-dose MMR vaccination (55% and 45%, respectively).


    Public health response to the mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa required important amounts of personnel time and other resources. Associated costs were sizable enough to affect other public health activities.

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