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Fleming, Bailee (2023) WEST NILE VIRUS IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA IN 2022 - A SURVEILLANCE REPORT. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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West Nile Virus (WNV) is a common vector borne virus endemic to the US. It is seasonal with most human infections occurring in late summer and early fall. WNV is sustained within the bird and mosquito populations, where Culex pipiens and C. restuans mosquitoes are vectors in the transmission cycle between birds and humans. Asymptomatic WNV infections are common with 80% of people experiencing no symptoms. The remaining 20% experience flu-like symptoms, with less than 1% of people developing neuroinvasive symptoms. Mosquito surveillance is completed by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) using gravid traps to monitor WNV infection prevalence in the mosquito population. These traps replicate places where female Culex sp. mosquitoes lay their eggs. There are 25 locations throughout the city of Pittsburgh where traps are placed on a weekly basis. An additional five traps are placed on a rotating basis to cover various parts of the county. This surveillance provides data to ACHD about where the virus is active within the county and guides mosquito control action. During the 21-week summer season, Allegheny County had 137 positive mosquito samples collected from the 549 gravid traps set during this time. The vector index (VI) is calculated from these mosquito samples and ranged from 0 to 1200. These samples guided the five spraying events done in late August and early September to cover different Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Two confirmed human WNV cases have been reported so far in 2022 in Allegheny County. Mosquito and disease surveillance are important for collecting data about the prevalence of WNV in the county and is used to protect the public’s health by working to reduce the risk of WNV transmission to humans. Public health action is conducted by raising community awareness, encouraging self-protection, and deciding where and when spray events should occur which all work towards accomplishing public protection.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fleming, Baileebaf71@pitt.edubaf71
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHaggerty, Catherine L.haggertyc@edc.pitt.eduhaggertycUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTufts, Danielle M.dmt80@pitt.edudmt80UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBaldauf, Nicholasnicholas.baldauf@alleghenycounty.usUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 4 January 2023
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 16 December 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 64
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: West Nile Virus, WNV, gravid traps, Vector Index
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 18:27
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 18:27


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