Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Jeffrey Osleeb, Dr. Chuanrong Zhang

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


The outbreak of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2012 included over 1,880 reported cases in the state of Texas, and was a dramatic increase from the disease prevalence of previous years. Based on the framework of human ecology triangle, this investigation sought to test the validity of previously identified factors of West Nile Virus to this year’s outbreak and investigate the broad range of incidence rates across zip codes in Texas. A selection of demographic, environmental, and weather-related risk factors was included in the analysis in order to examine areas of high and low incidence across a varied landscape.

A combination of Geographic Information Science and spatial statistics was used to process, visualize, and explore the spatial variation of WNV infected human cases and the related risk factors. A regression model was then applied to identify important and significant risk factors at both the state and the two urban areas (Dallas and Houston) with differing incidence rates to further assess the robustness of the relationships between WNV incidence and the risk factors.

Major Advisor

Dr. Debarchana Ghosh