Hydroclimatic Assessment of West Nile Virus Occurrence Across Continental US

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Hannah Ellyse Billian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Biological Systems Engineering, Blacksburg, VA, United States; West Virginia University, Civil Engineering, Morgantown, WV, United States, Antarpreet Jutla, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, United States and Rita R Colwell, University of Maryland College Park, Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, College Park, MD, United States
West Nile virus (WNV) is the most widely infections from arbovirus in mid-latitudes, having reached the Western Hemisphere in 1999. As a vector-borne disease, WNV is primarily spread by mosquitoes; the disease is predominantly found in tropical and temperate regions of the world, and is now considered an endemic pathogen in the United States, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. Environmental processes play a vital role in the trigger of WNV. Here, using logistical regression models, we quantified relationships between hydroclimatic processes and mosquito abundance for WNV across the continental USA using precipitation and temperature at different spatial and temporal scales. It will be shown that reported cases of this disease are more prevalent during spring and summer months in the entire country, when there is more precipitation and higher surface air temperatures for 2003 to 2013. The key impacts of this research are those related to the improvement of human health, and a means to predict mosquito breeding patterns long term as they relate to the prevalence of vector-borne illnesses.