Effects of weather and landscape on the equine West Nile virus infection risk in Mississippi, USA

  • Guiming Wang | guiming.wang@msstate.edu Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, United States.

Abstract

The West Nile virus (WNv) continues to be a public health concern in North America. Dry weather appears to increase human WNv infection risks, but it is uncertain whether dry weather conditions exert similar effects on the corresponding equine WNv infection. This study assessed the effects of precipitation of the previous year and land cover diversity on the equine WNv risk of Mississippi, USA, at the county level in the year 2002 using Bayesian hierarchical models. The risk estimated for 2002 was found to be inversely related to annual precipitation of the preceding year. Equine WNv risks were lower with greater land cover diversity probably due to the diluting effects of biodiversity. Correlation between the equine and human WNv risks was positive but relatively low. Dry weather conditions of the previous year might reduce mosquito competitors and predators and subsequently increase mosquito abundances and equine WNv risks in agricultural areas with low biodiversity.

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Author Biography

Guiming Wang, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Associate Professor

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Published
2015-11-04
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Issue
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
Bayesian hierarchical models, Integrated nested Laplace approximations, Land cover diversity, Spatial models, Dilution effect hypothesis
Statistics
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How to Cite
Wang, G. (2015). Effects of weather and landscape on the equine West Nile virus infection risk in Mississippi, USA. Geospatial Health, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2015.357