Investigator:

Maria Diuk-Wasser
Epidemiology & Public Health

Description:

The recent outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) has put in evidence the critical shortages of resources and training to contain vector-borne disease outbreaks. There is a need to develop more efficient methodologies that will aid vector control agencies in their operations. We will develop a WNV risk map for the State of Connecticut.

The first stage of the project will be to use remotely sensed data to predict the distribution and abundance of different mosquito vectors of WNV. Our work will focus on 9 out of 43 mosquito species known to occur in CT, for which WNV has been isolated in several occasions. The attributes of aquatic habitats occupied by target mosquito species are reasonably specific, so we are confident that they will be able to identify specific habitat features for each of them. We will examine the relationship between mosquitoes captured in CDC light traps and the spectral signatures of the pixels surrounding the traps. In the future, we will combine the data on vector distribution with WNV activity data provided by state agencies to generate area estimates of entomologic risk for humans.