Exploring local influences on Zika virus rates in Puerto Rico utilizing Geographically Weighted Regression

Authors: Amanda Weber*, Oklahoma State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Geographically Weighted Regression, Ordinary Least Squares Regression, Public Health, Zika Virus
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Lafayette, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study explores the potential factors influencing the incidence of Zika virus in Puerto Rico. The primary transmission of the Zika virus to the human population is through mosquito bites. This study uses Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) to better understand what influences the rate of Zika transmission. By September 2016, there were 22,348 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. Results indicated municipalities with higher poverty also had some of the highest Zika rates, ranging from 24.03 to 97.62 per 100,000 of the population. Additionally, communities or municipalities facing higher incidence of poverty have a greater potential for stagnant water accumulation (breeding grounds for mosquitoes) and reduced access to resources to combat the mosquito population. With the increased threat to fetal development and the rapid spread of the virus, studying local variation of influences on incidence rates has the potential to reduce risk of infection, which is paramount to the public health and safety initiatives currently underway in Puerto Rico and abroad. As of May 2017, then number of Zika cases has reached 39,088 documented cases, which represents an increase of 16,740 additional cases since September 2016.

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