Monday, May 11, 2009

New and Hot: Swine flu costs Mexican economy $2.2 billion

Seems like there are only two things you ever hear about these days: swine flu and the poor state of the economy. Here's a little of both...?

Anyway, I saw this article, and the issue of "economic cost" of disease is a really important one for many reasons, one of which is the issue of disease eradication. Obviously, we're far from even the proposal of eradicating swine flu, but the issue of economic costs and eradication brings us back to smallpox, the eradication of which cost $300 million, and saved the world $2 billion per year (in 1980 dollars..., and according to Scourge).

If the cost of eradicating a disease is MUCH less than even the annual cost the disease inflicts worldwide, doesn't it just make sense to eradicate it? The answer is, unfortunately, sometimes no. Other factors come into play, and I'll actually be doing my presentation on them, so if you're even remotely interested, you can look forward to that...

-Andrew Beck

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