Building Capacity to Support the Use of Geospatial Modeling for Vectorborne Disease Control: West Nile Virus as a Case Study


We surveyed public health and vector control agencies in the U.S. to identify barriers restricting the implementation of geospatial modeling for West Nile virus (WNV) control. We conducted 18 standardized interviews with public health and vector control agencies in states with the highest cumulative human WNV cases. Agencies were organized by their implementation of geospatial modeling (Initial: Implementation and Support; Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation, and External: Outreach and Communication) and thematic analysis was used to identify barriers and best practices. Initial: Implementation and Support agencies reported funding and educational barriers, while Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation agencies reported surveillance data challenges and mistrust of geospatial modeling as limiting geospatial modeling usage. Agencies involved in External: Outreach and Communication reported policy guidelines and lack of public interest as barriers to using geospatial modeling for WNV control. To overcome these challenges, we identified the use of unified resource programs, local data repositories, and multi-stakeholder taskforces for addressing these challenges to WNV control. The findings from this study can be used to help improve WNV control within the U.S. and might be equally valuable for preemptively mitigating the impacts of emerging and reemerging mosquito-borne diseases.


Speaker / Author: 
Bryan Moy, MPH, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Ryan Harrigan, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Hilary Godwin, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Month Year: 
June 2018
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
June 2018