Spatial exploration of Social Vulnerability and COVID-19 related health outcomes in Mississippi.

Authors: S M Asger Ali*, Mississippi State University, Kathleen Sherman-Morris, Mississippi State University, Shrinidhi Ambinakudige, Mississippi State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Covid19, Social Vulnerability, Health GIS, Spatial Analysis
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Infectious disease disasters, including epidemics, pandemics, and outbreaks, may have deadly health impacts with high morbidity and mortality rate. A new category of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (named COVID-19 by WHO) is spreading in more than 150 countries with a continuous death toll of more than 2 million (as of January 2021). Covid-19 is causing a massive outbreak in the USA with more than 26 million cases and more than 441K death tolls. Mississippi (MS) is one of the hardest-hit states with a high incidence and mortality rate compare to the national average. This paper explores the relationship of Mississippi county-level COVID-19 related incident and mortality rates (through January 03, 2021) with the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (CDC SVI). CDC’s SVI index consists of four major themes: socio-economic status, household composition & disability, minority status & language, and finally, and housing type & transportation. Results of bivariate global Moran’s I analysis of COVID-19 related incident rate and overall and separate SVI theme exhibited clustering of similar values (I = 0.19, p < .01), meaning areas with high incidence rates tended to have high SVI percentile ranks. Similarly, the mortality rate also shows a significant relationship (I = 0.24, p < .01) with SVI percentile ranks. Among the individual SVI themes, theme 1 (socio-economic status), theme 2 (household composition and disability), and theme 4 (housing type and transportation) showed a significant relationship with incidence and mortality rates (p <.05).

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