Socioeconomic burden of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome in endemic areas of Anhui Province, eastern China.
Understanding the socioeconomic burden of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is important for making decisions on health resources allocation. This study aimed to assess the economic burden of patients with this syndrome in endemic areas of the Anhui Province in 2018. A total of 114 patients were recruited, and the median age was 63.5 years, 62 (54.4%) were female, 97 (85.1%) were farmers, 108 (94.7%) were survival patients, and 71 (62.3%) had a family monthly income less than $453.3. The median times of hospital visits and hospitalizations of patients were three times, and the median lost work days of these patients, caregivers and visitors were 14.5 days, 14.5 days and 7.5 days, respectively. The median direct costs of the patient were $3,761.6, and the median indirect costs were $508.3. Taking direct and indirect costs into consideration, the median total economic costs of patients were $4,323.9, and the total annual cost of 2018 was $1,396,913.6. Although 113 (99.1%) patients had medical insurance, only 25.8% of costs were covered by reimbursement, and the total cost paid for by the patients and their families was $1,041,073.6 in 2018. Our findings revealed that the patients and their families had a significant economic burden, and preventive measures should be strengthened in endemic areas. The findings also provided baseline data for assessing the cost-effectiveness of the vaccines or anti-viral drugs in the near future in China.