Research Finds Higher Incidence of West Nile Virus in Low-Income Neighborhoods
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sponsored new research by the IoES Center for Tropical Research.
Newly published U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded research has found that low income neighborhoods appear to be the most susceptible to the West Nile Virus (WNV). The study is the first to use a statistical model to determine links between economic conditions and disease. West Nile Virus is a mosquito-transmitting disease that first appeared in the U.S. in 1999, causing human illness and death and costing millions of dollars to control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that up to 100,000 people may be exposed to WNV per year.
“Emerging infectious diseases can have devastating impacts on human health,” said Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The results of this research emphasize the need to investigate economic factors in disease transmission and underscore our efforts to prevent infectious disease by increasing protection for high-risk communities.”
The research was led by scientists from UCLA including the Center for Tropical Research's Tom Smith, Ryan J. Harrigan, Henri A. Thomassen, Wolfgang Buermann and IoES Professor Matthew E. Kahn. Robert F. Cummings from the Orange County Vector Control District also contributed to the study.
To view the full research article on the PLoS One website click here.
Published: Monday, November 29, 2010