Date of Award

5-20-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Sheryl Strasser, PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Karen E. Gieseker, PhD

Abstract

Background: West Nile Virus (WNV) is a serious mosquito-borne disease that can potentially lead to death. The purpose of this study is to spatially examine known risk factors for WNV within Georgia at the county level. The study produces maps that relate known WNV cases to high, medium, and low risk factor areas for additional analyses. Methodology: Cartographic visualization and statistical analysis software was used to examine the relationships between: the geographical distribution of age, race, gender, urbanicity, and population density of Georgians in relation to WNV cases by county. Chi-square analysis and odds rations were calculated to determine whether or not associations of risk and the likelihood of WNV case reports were significant. Results: Gender was found to be significantly associated with the distribution of reported WNV cases. Identification of high risk areas throughout the state was determined through the use of Geographic Information System software. Conclusion: Insights into the visual distribution of WNV risk factors throughout the state of Georgia can assist policy makers and public health planners to optimize resources in WNV transmission and prevention abatement and education efforts. This exploratory study provides a critical first glimpse into the distribution of WNV risk factors throughout the state.

Included in

Public Health Commons

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