Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate-based Model to Predict West Nile Virus Activity

15.07.2004


Cornell University scientists are launching a full-scale study on the influence of climate on mosquito populations that transmit diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) to humans. Funded by a $495,000 Global Programs grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the three-year project is a collaborative effort involving medical entomologists, climatologists, social scientists and risk analysts, as well as local and state health department officials.



"We propose to develop a system for predicting and monitoring risk of mosquito vectors, West Nile virus transmission and human health risk that will be readily usable by public health professionals for decision-making," says Laura Harrington, Cornell assistant professor of entomology and the project’s principal investigator. "This system will provide a mechanism for early warning of West Nile virus risk and serve as a model for other existing and future vector-borne disease risks for which vectors are already present in the United States. These risks include Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis and Ross River viruses."

Arthur T. DeGaetano, Cornell associate professor of climatology and director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, is a co-principal investigator.


To develop, refine and validate the system, researchers will focus their efforts on New York state, with the view to making the system adaptable to any region. Harrington and DeGaetano hypothesize that a few key climate factors influence and drive WNV transmission dynamics and these key factors can be modeled to accurately predict the risk of WNV transmission to people.

Harrington and Renee R. Anderson, a Cornell Cooperative Extension associate in Cornell’s Department of Entomology, will determine the effects of temperature on development of key West Nile mosquito vectors in the laboratory and under realistic field conditions. DeGaetano will develop a forecasting model based on climate to predict periods of vector and pathogen abundance and human risk. Lois Levitan, a Cornell senior extension associate and Environmental Risk Analysis

Program leader, will determine the information needs of public health and vector control professionals as it relates to risk analysis. Five public health and vector control officials from across New York state will take part in the project, along with Cornell graduate and undergraduate students.

The study will integrate and expand on data acquired during a 2003 NOAA-funded pilot study. Mosquitoes develop in microhabitats, according to Harrington. The correlation of climate data with microhabitat information provides scientific clues to how mosquito populations develop and age. Older mosquitoes are the carriers of WNV, becoming infected when they feed on "reservoir" animals, such as birds, and undergo an incubation period of the virus lasting five to 14 days. During subsequent blood meals after this incubation period, the mosquitoes inject the virus into humans and animals, where it can multiply and sometimes cause illness. Outdoor temperatures determine both the rate the virus replicates in the mosquito and the rate mosquitoes age.

While mosquitoes can live as long as three or four months in a laboratory, their life span in the wild is much shorter. Thanks to predators and pathogens, the longest the average mosquito can live is probably three to four weeks, says Harrington. During the height of summer heat, a mosquito can age and become a full adult within seven to nine days.

Previous efforts to link climate information and mosquito vector management have failed for a variety of reasons, Harrington says.

"By directly addressing and overcoming the reasons why previous models have failed, the unique group of collaborators assembled for this project will gather the data needed to build realistic, validated and effective models for predicting vector activity and human health risk," she says.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plumbene, graphene's latest cousin, realized on the 'nano water cube'

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New flatland material: Physicists obtain quasi-2D gold

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New Boost for ToCoTronics

23.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>