RESEARCH: WEATHER & WEST NILE VIRUS THREAT IN ILLINOIS

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ILLINOIS GRAPHICAL WEST NILE VIRUS THREAT MODEL

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The risk of exposure to West Nile Virus (WNV) appears to increase under hot / dry summertime conditions. WNV affects citizens across the state. Only two county-level predictive models exist; one for DuPage County, and one for Champaign County (this CU Crossover Model). The county-level model results cannot be easily extrapolated to other regions of Illinois. The goal of this research is to develop and validate a WNV threat predictive model that can be used throughout the state of Illinois, eventually throughout the Midwest and US, and perhaps apply these same techniques to other climate-related health or issues.

Components of this graphical model include: 1) climate divisions as the basic spatial unit to aggregate non-homogenous WNV human and mosquito case sampling, and for averaging daily weather data. 2) use of precipitation and temperature departures from daily 30-year normals, rather than based on weekly degree days, 3) incorporation of 10-day daily temperature and 3-day daily precipitation forecasts to increase the lead time of model usefulness, 4) graphical displays of accumulated daily temperature and precipitation departures from normal for high and low WNV case years for comparison with current weather conditions, and 5) incorporation of the number of mosquito pools testing positive for WNV as reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Note that there is likely a time lag between the collection of the mosquito pools, virus testing, and data availability.

The number of human cases is somewhat related to popoulation, with climate division 02 (including the Chicago Metro Area) having the largest population and climate divisons 01, 03, 07 and 09 having the least popoulation. In addition to population, other non-climate effects such as mosquito habitat, use and effectiveness of mosquito control, as well as human, bird and mosquito behavior, can affect the number of cases, leading to uncertainty in year-to-year results and some subjectivity in selection of high- and low-case years.

Click on a Climate Division for graphical displays of season-to-date WNV weather and count of mosquito pools testing positive for WNV.


REFERENCES

Alto, B.W., E.J. Muturi, and R.L. Lampman, 2012: Nutrition and density-dependence in Culex pipiens. Med Vet Entomol 26 (4): 396-406.

Gu, W.D., R.L. Lampman, N.M. Krasavin, R.J. Novak, 2006: Spatio-temporal analyses of West Nile virus transmission in Culex mosquitoes in Northern Illinois, USA, 2004. Vector-borne Zoonotic Dis. 6(1), 91-98.

Gu, W.D., T.R. Unnasch, C.R. Katholi, R.L. Lampman, R.J. Novak, 2008: Fundamental issues in mosquito surveillance for arboviral transmission. Trans Royal Soc Trop. Med. Hyg. 102, 817-822.

Kunkel, K.E., R.J. Novak, R.L. Lampman, and W. Gu, 2006: Modeling the impact of variable climatic factors on the crossover of Culex restuans and Culex pipiens (diptera: culicidae), Vectors of West Nile Virus in Illinois. Amer. J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 74(1), 168-173.

Lampman, R.L., N.M. Krasavin, M.P. Ward, T.A. Beveroth, E.W. Lankau, B.W. Alto, E.J. Muturi, and R.J. Novak, 2013: West Nile Virus Infection Rates and Avian Serology in East-Central Illinois. J. of the American Mosquito Control Assoc., 29(2), 108-122.

Lampman, R.L., N.M. Krasavin, M. Szyska, R.J. Novak, 2006. A comparison of two West Nile virus detection assays (TaqMan reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and VecTest antigen assay) during three consecutive outbreaks in northern Illinois, J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc., 22(1), 76-86.

Lampman, R L., M. Slamecka, N. Krasavin, K.E. Kunkel, and R.J. Novak, 2006: Culex population dynamics and West Nile virus transmission in east central Illinois. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Assoc., 22, 390-400.

Muturi, E.J., R.L. Lampman, K. Costanzo, and B.W. Alto, 2011: Effect of Temperature and Insecticide Stress on Life-History Traits of Culex restuans and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 48(2):243-250.

Peterson, L.R., P.J. Carson, B.J. Biggerstaff, B. Custer, S.M. Borchardt, and M.P. Busch, 2013: Estimated cumulative incidence of West Nile virus infection in US adults, 1999-2010. Epidemiol. Infect., 141, 591-595.

Ruiz, M.O., L.F. Chaves, G.L. Hamer, T. Sun, W.M. Brown, E.D. Walker, L. Haramis, T.L. Goldberg, and U.D. Kitron, 2010: Local impact of temperature and precipitation on the West Nile virus infection in Culex species mosquitoes in northeast Illinois, USA. Parasites and Vectors, 3(19), 1-16.

Staples, J.E., M. Shankar, J.J. Sejvar, M.I. Meltzer, and M. Fischer, 2014: Initial and long term costs of patients hospitalized with West Nile virus disease, Amer. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg., (in press).

Westcott, N.E., S.D. Hilberg, R.L. Lampman, B. W. Alto, A. Bedel, E.J. Muturi, H. Glahn, M. Baker, K.E. Kunkel, and R.J. Novak, 2011: Predicting the Seasonal Shift in Mosquito Populations Preceding the Onset of the West Nile Virus in Central Illinois, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92,1173-1180.

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