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Arboviral diseases and poverty in Alabama, 2007-2017.

Abstract

Mosquito-borne viruses cause diseases of great public health concern. Arboviral disease case distributions have complex relationships with socioeconomic and environmental factors. We combined information about socio-economic (population, and poverty rate) and environmental (precipitation, and land use) characteristics with reported human cases of arboviral disease in the counties of Alabama, USA, from 2007-2017. We used county level data on West Nile virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Zika virus (ZIKV), California serogroup virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and Saint Louis encephalitis virus to provide a detailed description of their spatio-temporal pattern. We found a significant spatial convergence between incidence of WNV and poverty rate clustered in the southern part of Alabama. DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV cases showed a different spatial pattern, being mostly located in the northern part, in areas of high socioeconomic status. The results of our study establish that poverty-driven inequities in arboviral risk exist in the southern USA, and should be taken into account when planning prevention and intervention strategies.

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