4.4 Characteristics of West Nile Virus Predictive Models in Illinois

Thursday, 12 June 2014: 8:45 AM
Church Ranch (Denver Marriott Westminster)
Nancy E. Westcott, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

Since the 1999 introduction of West Nile Virus into the United States, more than 39,000 human cases and 1,600 human deaths have occurred across the US. In Illinois, more than 2,000 cases of WNV have been reported, with adults over 50 particularly susceptible to WNV. This is a serious public health threat. WNV is passed to (and from) birds and mammals by female culex mosquitoes. The growth and intensity of the WNV can be related to both favorable conditions for the virus itself and for the mosquitoes that carry WNV. Typically, warm temperatures and low rainfall amounts are favorable for mosquito and virus growth. Two operational models have been developed to predict the WNV threat in IL but are relevant to specific locations: Cook County (Ruiz et al., 2010) and Champaign County (Kunkel and Lampman, 2005; and Westcott et al., 2011). Two additional models are under development. This presentation will focus on the strengths and weakness of these models with respect to data input requirements, the adaptability of the models to other regions, verification, and the ease and utility for stakeholders (i.e. public health and mosquito control communities, and the general public).
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