Utility of early-season mosquito surveillance to predict West Nile virus activity in late summer was assessed in Suffolk County, NY. Dry ice-baited CDC miniature light traps paired with gravid traps were set weekly. Maximum-likelihood estimates of WNV positivity, minimum infection rates, and % positive pools were generally well correlated. However, positivity in gravid traps was not correlated with positivity in CDC light traps. The best early-season predictors of WNV activity in late summer (estimated using maximum-likelihood estimates of Culex positivity in August and September) were early date of first positive pool, low numbers of mosquitoes in July, and low numbers of mosquito species in July. These results suggest that early-season entomological samples can be used to predict WNV activity later in the summer, when most human cases are acquired. Additional research is needed to establish which surveillance variables are most predictive and to characterize the reliability of the predictions.
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The use of early summer mosquito surveillance to predict late summer West Nile virus activity