Chicago, IL and Norwalk, CT announced that the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has begun utilizing its LinksPoint VectorWatch geographic risk modeling system to aid in the prevention of West Nile Virus by identifying areas within the city where disease activity is present. The LinksPoint VectorWatch geographic risk modeling system is used as a tool to help CDPH officials more quickly and efficiently determine which areas of the city of Chicago are at elevated risk for outbreaks of the disease and plan actions to reduce the threat to the population. The LinksPoint VectorWatch system works by applying sophisticated statistical and geographic analysis techniques to dead bird reports collected when citizens call 311 and by other reporting methods. All data is analyzed on a daily basis and digital maps are generated showing areas at risk for the disease. Areas at risk are identified as ½-mile square “hot spots” superimposed on a map of the city. The model also provides all street segments in the “hot spots.”
This program allows CDPH to make more informed decisions about where to apply the efforts against mosquitoes, with the goal of more effectively protecting the population from West Nile Virus. Geographic modeling takes the fight against West Nile Virus up a notch by showing communities where the greatest threats are with a high degree of specificity, said Michael Forbes, LinksPoint Vice President. LinksPoint VectorWatch gives public health officials a powerful ‘early warning system’ for the prevention of West Nile Virus.