This study determined direct medical costs for influenza-associated hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits. For 3 influenza seasons, children <5 years of age with laboratory-confirmed influenza were identified through population-based surveillance. The mean direct cost per hospitalized child was $5402, with annual cost burden estimated at $44 to $163 million. Factors associated with high-cost hospitalizations included intensive care unit (ICU) admission and having an underlying high-risk condition. The mean medical cost per ED visit was $512, with annual ED cost burden estimated at $62 to $279 million. Implementation of the current vaccination policies will likely reduce the cost burden.
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