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West Nile Virus control in Allegheny County: difficulties in utilization of the Vector Index for prediction

Long, Kathleen (2016) West Nile Virus control in Allegheny County: difficulties in utilization of the Vector Index for prediction. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen first discovered in Uganda in 1937. The virus was detected in the new world in 1999 in New York City, and has since spread throughout the continental United States as well as parts of Canada, Mexico, and South America. Because of the high percentage of asymptomatic cases, human surveillance alone is inadequate for West Nile Virus. Therefore, programs in the United States, including one in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania perform mosquito surveillance activities in order to find high-risk areas for human transmission. In this study, the mosquito surveillance program findings are presented for 2015. In addition, the vector index measure is used as a possible quantitative method for comparing West Nile Virus risk between the eastern neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. By aiming to increase understanding of the West Nile Virus risk in Allegheny County in 2015 and testing a quantitative method of risk comparison, this study provides public health relevance. Between May and September 2015, 562 gravid mosquito traps were set in Allegheny County. West Nile Virus was detected in samples from 172 of these traps; the highest percentage of positive traps seen in Allegheny County since the surveillance program began. The vector index measure was calculated each week for a subset of eleven different zones in eastern Pittsburgh, with values ranging from 0-5.8. While this method provided values representing risk, they were not useful for comparison because of the low sample size. If the sample size were large enough to allow the calculation of a vector index value for each zone each week, the method would be more useful.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Long, Kathleenkel104@pitt.eduKEL104
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKingsley, Lawrence A.kingsley@pitt.eduKINGSLEY
Committee MemberFriedman, Mackeymrf9@pitt.eduMRF9
Committee MemberMertz, Kristen J.kjm40@pitt.eduKJM40
Date: 27 January 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 December 2015
Approval Date: 27 January 2016
Submission Date: 14 December 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 41
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: West Nile Virus, Vector Index
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 21:05
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:31


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