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April 03, 2008

Live Blogging from KSL GIS Symposium--Plenary Session #2 Uriel Kitron

Uriel Kitron, Dept. of Environmental Studies, Emory University

"West Nile Virus in Chicago: Considering the past, Understanding the present, Predicting the Future"

Prof. Kitron pointed out the importance of libraries as centers for providing geospatial data.

He spoke of the role of GIS, remote sensing and spatial analysis in VBD research. Scale of considerable importance. Spatial (village/town, continental) and temporal scales (seasons, years, decades) and the resolution of the scales. Can be considered simultaneously as well as consecutively.

West Nile Virus appeared in NYC during 1999 (from the Old World)
in 2002 it appeared in Chicago and surroundings. The virus has moved very quickly across the United States.

Prof. Kitron explained in detail factors related to the spread of West Nile Virus in the Chicago area and relationships to earlier infections of other diseases in some of the same geographical areas. One factor seems to relate to many undocumented storm drains filled with water, organic waste, making an excellent breeding place for the mosquito larvae that spread WNV. If the drains are flushed regularly with frequent rains the larvae are likely to be washed away and there is less problem.

Prof. Kitron's future research is to investigate the fundamental ecological proeceses that drive the fine-scale variations in WNV transmission; focus on fine-scale spatial relationships for transmissions.

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Posted by tdr at April 3, 2008 11:51 AM