Texas Arbovirus Risk
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Arboviruses are a major public health concern in Texas. Two viruses that have not yet established local transmission but may pose a threat are chikungunya virus and dengue virus. Chikungunya is a disease that has for decades been endemic in Asia and Africa, but recently has caused large outbreaks in Central America and the Caribbean. Dengue is a concern in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, infecting millions of people every year. Both of these viruses are consistently imported into Texas. Increases in travel and virus outbreaks around the world have lead to an increase in the number of imported cases over the past few years. Although there are significant biological and epidemiological differences between chikungunya and dengue, both viruses share the same primary mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. In this project, we seek to answer two important problems for chikungunya and dengue surveillance, control, and prevention in Texas: • Where do the mosquito vectors live in Texas? • Where are the geographic risk zones in Texas? To assist the Department of State Health Services in its mission, and to answer these questions, this project builds vector habitat suitability maps, import risk maps, and sustained transmission risk maps for Texas.