Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel on the importance of the measles vaccine in ending the mounting outbreak.

The U.S. is currently grappling with the worst measles outbreak of the century – the CDC estimates there’s close to 700 cases so far this year, and it’s only April – and with no end in sight, the economic cost of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus is continuing to rise.

“It is expensive to the public health system,” Dr. Nate Smith, the director and state health officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, told FOX Business. “The real cost though are not all financials, and they’re borne by the individuals and the families.”

Although Arkansas has not had any confirmed measles cases so far this year, Smith said the state carefully analyzed one case in 2018 to determine how much it cost the health department. The result? A staggering $47,962.

While Smith, who also serves as co-chair of the infectious disease policy committee for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, emphasized that each case and outbreak is unique – and therefore the cost is not uniform for one case – he said close to $50,000 is “pretty consistent” across the U.S. (based on a report in the medical journal Vaccine). Extrapolating that number for the confirmed 695 individual cases in 22 states, the economic cost totals out somewhere close to $30…