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Combining Mosquito Vector and Human Disease Data for Improved Assessment of Spatial West Nile Virus Disease Risk

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Vector-Borne, Zoonotic and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado
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Assessments of spatial risk of exposure to vector-borne pathogens that combine vector and human disease data are needed for areas encompassing large tracts of public land with low population bases. We addressed this need for West Nile virus (WNV) disease in the northern Colorado Front Range by developing not only a spatial model for entomological risk of exposure to Culex tarsalis WNV vectors and an epidemiological risk map for WNV disease but also a novel risk-classification index combining data for these independently derived measures of entomological and epidemiological risk. Risk of vector exposure was high in the densely populated eastern plains portion of the Front Range but low in cooler montane areas to the west that are sparsely populated but used heavily for recreation in the summer. The entomological risk model performed well when applied to the western, mountainous part of Colorado and validated against epidemiologic data.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Lars Eisen, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, 1690 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, Tel: +1 (970) 491-8386, Fax: +1 (970) 491-8707, E-mail: lars.eisen@colostate.edu.
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