A GIS Tool to Estimate West Nile Virus Risk Based on a Degree-Day Model
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West Nile virus (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) is a serious infectious disease that recently spread across the North America continent. A spatial analysis tool was developed on the ArcMap 9.x platform to estimate potential West Nile virus activity using a spatially explicit degree-day model. The model identifies when the virus Extrinsic Incubation Period (EIP) is completed within the vector longevity during mid-summer months. The EIP is treated as a threshold indicator of the potential for virus emergence and activity. Comparing the number of West Nile virus cases in Wyoming reported from 2003 to 2005 with model results, actual cases and predicted events of West Nile virus activity match relatively well. The model represents a useful method for estimating potential West Nile virus activity in a large spatial scale.