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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 159578, 6 pages
Research Article

Proximity of Residence to Bodies of Water and Risk for West Nile Virus Infection: A Case-Control Study in Houston, Texas

1Center for Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Office of Surveillance and Public Health Preparedness, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX 77054, USA
3Office of Disease Control and Clinical Prevention, Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, Houston, TX 77027, USA
4Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, Houston, TX 77054, USA

Received 1 August 2011; Revised 27 September 2011; Accepted 19 October 2011

Academic Editor: Roy A. Hall

Copyright © 2012 Melissa S. Nolan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne virus, has clinically affected hundreds of residents in the Houston metropolitan area since its introduction in 2002. This study aimed to determine if living within close proximity to a water source increases one’s odds of infection with WNV. We identified 356 eligible WNV-positive cases and 356 controls using a population proportionate to size model with US Census Bureau data. We found that living near slow moving water sources was statistically associated with increased odds for human infection, while living near moderate moving water systems was associated with decreased odds for human infection. Living near bayous lined with vegetation as opposed to concrete also showed increased risk of infection. The habitats of slow moving and vegetation lined water sources appear to favor the mosquito-human transmission cycle. These methods can be used by resource-limited health entities to identify high-risk areas for arboviral disease surveillance and efficient mosquito management initiatives.