Spatially Explicit Modeling of West Nile Virus Risk Using Environmental Data

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West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging infectious disease that has widespread implications for public health practitioners across the world. Within a few years of its arrival in the United States the virus had spread across the North American continent. This research focuses on the development of a spatially explicit GIS-based predictive epidemiological model based on suitable environmental factors. We examined eleven commonly mapped environmental factors using both ordinary least squares regression (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR). The GWR model was utilized to ascertain the impact of environmental factors on WNV risk patterns without the confounding effects of spatial ... continued below

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ix, 99 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (chiefly color)

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Kala, Abhishek K. December 2015.

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  • Kala, Abhishek K.

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Description

West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging infectious disease that has widespread implications for public health practitioners across the world. Within a few years of its arrival in the United States the virus had spread across the North American continent. This research focuses on the development of a spatially explicit GIS-based predictive epidemiological model based on suitable environmental factors. We examined eleven commonly mapped environmental factors using both ordinary least squares regression (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR). The GWR model was utilized to ascertain the impact of environmental factors on WNV risk patterns without the confounding effects of spatial non-stationarity that exist between place and health. It identifies the important underlying environmental factors related to suitable mosquito habitat conditions to make meaningful and spatially explicit predictions. Our model represents a multi-criteria decision analysis approach to create disease risk maps under data sparse situations. The best fitting model with an adjusted R2 of 0.71 revealed a strong association between WNV infection risk and a subset of environmental risk factors including road density, stream density, and land surface temperature. This research also postulates that understanding the underlying place characteristics and population composition for the occurrence of WNV infection is important for mitigating future outbreaks. While many spatial and aspatial models have attempted to predict the risk of WNV transmission, efforts to link these factors within a GIS framework are limited. One of the major challenges for such integration is the high dimensionality and large volumes typically associated with such models and data. This research uses a spatially explicit, multivariate geovisualization framework to integrate an environmental model of mosquito habitat with human risk factors derived from socio-economic and demographic variables. Our results show that such an integrated approach facilitates the exploratory analysis of complex data and supports reasoning about the underlying spatial processes that result in differential risks for WNV. This research provides different tools and techniques for predicting the WNV epidemic and provides more insights into targeting specific areas for controlling WNV outbreaks.

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ix, 99 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (chiefly color)

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • December 2015

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  • March 20, 2016, 10:34 a.m.

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  • June 1, 2017, 12:16 p.m.

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Kala, Abhishek K. Spatially Explicit Modeling of West Nile Virus Risk Using Environmental Data, dissertation, December 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822841/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .