Environmental and Socioeconomic Factors in Predicting Risk of West Nile Virus in Montana
West Nile virus (WNV) is a vector-borne disease with prevalence within the state of Montana. Predicting the patterns of this disease by assessing risk related to socioeconomic factors allows further control and prevention of West Nile virus. Prior evidence indicates that socioeconomic factors may allow for a better prediction of virus prevalence. At Carroll College, a longitudinal WNV surveillance project has provided ecological predictions of spatial prevalence of the disease. Environmental and socioeconomic factors associated with the risk of WNV were studied in the state of Montana, a primarily rural state. An initial regression model was utilized to identify significant socioeconomic factors related to WNV risk in Montana. Using the ecological and environmental data collected from Carroll College’s WNV surveillance project was used to perform a multiple regression model to examine whether the significant socioeconomic factors were associated with the risk of WNV. Evidence suggests that environmental factors as well as the percent of impoverished individuals over the age of 65 are significant in predicting the risk of WNV in the state of Montana.