Title : Economic Burden of Foodborne Botulism Outbreak in Vietnam
Objectives: Botulism is a rare bacterial infectious disease caused by Clostridium botulinum. The neurotoxin produced by the spore leads to serious paralytic illness and even death. There are seven forms of botulinum toxin, type A to G. Patients exposed to botulinum toxin can be treated with BAT® [Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) - (Equine)] product approved in the USA in 2013. In 2020, foodborne botulism outbreak was reported in Vietnam, and very little is known about the economic burden.
Methods: Per-day costs, as well as the length of stay in days for non-intensive care unit (NICU), intensive care unit (ICU), and mechanical ventilation days (MV-days) for Vietnam, were gathered from previously published literature.
Results: Thirteen foodborne botulism cases were reported in Vietnam in the 2020 outbreak. The average length of stay of the NICU, ICU, and MV per day was 168.5, 164 and 164 days, respectively.1 The NICU, ICU, and MV costs in USD were $109.832, $2,534, and $4,723 per day.3 Using this information, our conservative per patient cost estimates for non-ICU, ICU, and MV costs were $18,506, $415,576 and, $774,572, adding up to a total cost of $1,208,654 per-patient towards treating botulism. For 13 foodborne botulism cases, costs sum up to $15,712,507 to Vietnam’s healthcare system.
Conclusions: This preliminary investigation demonstrates a significant economic burden due to foodborne botulism to Vietnam’s healthcare system. Patients exposed to botulinum toxin A to G can be treated with BAT® [Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) – (Equine)] product that demonstrated exceptional clinical benefit with early (<2 days from symptom onset) versus later treatment (>2 days).4 BAT product could significantly reduce the length of stay, resource utilization, and significantly reduce the economic burden to the Vietnam healthcare system which needs further investigation.