Data from an outbreak (August to October, 2002) of West Nile virus (WNV) encephalomyelitis in a population of horses located in northern Indiana was scanned for clusters in time and space. One significant (p = 0.04) cluster of case premises was detected, occurring between September 4 and 10 in the south-west part of the study area (85.70??N, 45.50??W). It included 10 case premises (3.67 case premises expected) within a radius of 2264 m. Image data were acquired by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor onboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar-orbiting satellite. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated from visible and near-infrared data of daily observations, which were composited to produce a weekly-1km2 resolution raster image product. During the epidemic, a significant (p<0.01) decrease (0.025 per week) in estimated NDVI was observed at all case and control premise sites. The median estimated NDVI (0.659) for case premises within the cluster identified was significantly (p<0.01) greater than the median estimated NDVI for other case (0.571) and control (0.596) premises during the same period. The difference in median estimated NDVI for case premises within this cluster, compared to cases not included in this cluster, was greatest (5.3% and 5.1%, respectively) at 1 and 5 weeks preceding occurrence of the cluster. The NDVI may be useful for identifying foci of WNV transmission. ?? Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Additional publication details
Rural cases of equine West Nile virus encephalomyelitis and the normalized difference vegetation index