Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: Following the discovery of the West Nile virus (WNv) in Brazos County, TX in 2002, mosquito research personnel at Texas A&M University established a routine WNv mosquito vector surveillance program in the county. In 2004, a map of Brazos County was created depicting areas that had a heightened level of risk of humans contracting WNv to aid in this surveillance program. Locations of sick and dead birds reported to the county health department in 2003 known for their high susceptibility to the WNv were analyzed to determine with which habitat elements they were associated. Using a Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing technologies, habitat elements that had a high association with reported sick and dead bird sites were determined to be density of manhole covers, vegetative index, creeks and flood zones. The time period and locations when and where sick and dead birds were reported in 2003 were also analyzed to depict the movement or spread of the virus over the year. Four years later, validation of the WNv risk map was confirmed by plotting the locations of positive mosquitoes collected from 2003 to 2007 and the 2003 human cases. This study shows that it is possible to create a useful and accurate disease risk map by depicting landscape elements associated with unconfirmed epizootic data.