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Title: Modeling Arbovirus Transmission
Speaker: Charles King (Professor of International Health, Case Western Reserve University Center for Global Health and Diseases)
Abstract: This presentation will summarize the contribution of mathematical modeling and spatial data analysis to the development of a comprehensive approach to understanding and controlling arbovirus transmission. In Cuyahoga County in 2002-3, a major outbreak of West Nile virus provided the opportunity to test various hypotheses about the spread and persistence of mosquito-borne arboviruses locally. The project took advantage of the broad range of different habitats available for study in Cuyahoga County and drew on a close interdisciplinary collaboration of area ecologists, mapping specialists, molecular biologists, zoologists, infectious disease specialists, and mathematical modelers from CWRU, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Results suggest that human infection and consequent risk of disease are regulated by spatial and temporal heterogeneities in habitat, microclimate, vector competence, and the density and composition of local human populations. Models showed where biological data were needed, and the recovered data then helped to guide where intervention could be most effective.