Date: August 2010
Creator: Aviña, Aldo
Description: In this paper, I will show how applying a spatially explicit context to an existing environmental health surveillance framework is vital for more complete surveillance of disease, and for disease prevention and intervention strategies. As a case study to test the viability of a spatial approach to this existing framework, the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease will be estimated. This spatially explicit framework divides the surveillance process into three components: hazard surveillance, exposure surveillance, and outcome surveillance. The components will be used both collectively and individually, to assess exposure risk to infected ticks. By utilizing all surveillance components, I will identify different areas of risk which would not have been identified otherwise. Hazard surveillance uses maximum entropy modeling and geographically weighted regression analysis to create spatial models that predict the geographic distribution of ticks in Texas. Exposure surveillance uses GIS methods to estimate the risk of human exposures to infected ticks, resulting in a map that predicts the likelihood of human-tick interactions across Texas, using LandScan 2008TM population data. Lastly, outcome surveillance uses kernel density estimation-based methods to describe and analyze the spatial patterns of tick-borne diseases, which results in a continuous map that reflects disease rates based ...
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