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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Increasing Risk of Vector-Borne Diseases: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change and Human Population Density on Future Aedes aegypti Habitats
by Obenauer, Julie, Dr.P.H., East Tennessee State University, 2017, 123; 13830136
Abstract (Summary)

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector for four infectious diseases of global concern – Yellow Fever, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zikavirus. Previous attempts to model the expansion of the vector habitat due to global climate change have rarely included characteristics related to the human populations on which this mosquito is dependent. The purpose of this research was to determine whether the inclusion of human population density improves model performance while creating risk maps that can be used to determine where humans are most likely to be exposed to the vector in the future. The resulting model demonstrated that the inclusion of human population density improves the predictive power for A. aegypti and should be considered during model development. Maps produced by the model were also suitable for identifying regions where human populations are most likely to experience increased risk. Finally, two areas at risk of expansion were highlighted as a case study in pairing risk mapping with evidence-based intervention strategies to identify sites that would benefit from mosquito-control efforts. In this case, a low-cost program of insecticide-treated covers for water storage containers would likely work well in both Minas Gerais, Brazil and Northwestern Province, Zambia to mitigate mosquito risk. This research demonstrates that human population characteristic not only improve model fit but also increase the extent to which risk maps are actionable by aiding in targeting interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Quinn, Megan
Commitee: Joymer, Andrew, Li, Yang, Quinn, Megan
School: East Tennessee State University
Department: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School Location: United States -- Tennessee
Source: DAI-B 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Epidemiology
Keywords: Aedes aegypti, Climate change, Human population density, Risk mapping
Publication Number: 13830136
ISBN: 978-0-438-79068-1
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