Award Date

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Committee Member

Brian Labus

Second Committee Member

Chad Cross

Third Committee Member

Louisa Messenger

Fourth Committee Member

Allen Gibbs

Number of Pages



Climate change is an increasing public health threat that has been shown to influence Culex mosquito populations, the vectors of West Nile Virus (WNV). The main objective of this study was to determine which variables are most associated with WNV in the Southwest United States, defined herein as: California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. A Poisson regression model was used to analyze total cases from 2004-2020 using the following predictors: mosquito season temperature average, mosquito season precipitation average, bodies of water, and protected lands. Results indicated that precipitation average (P =.014) and the interaction between precipitation and temperature (P=.024) were significant. An increased average precipitation led to a decline of Relative Risk (RR) at .001, while the interaction of the 2 variables led to a slight increase in RR at 1.092. Predicted cases from 2004-2020 were calculated using the predictors selected in the final model (Table 2) using SPSS and compared with total cases at the county level (Figure 1). Both maps visualized a larger concentration of cases in California and in counties with large metropolitan cities, however, the predicted cases map showed a more geographically widespread risk of cases compared to the latter. Since 2004, there has been an overall decline of total cases. More research is suggested to investigate this phenomenon. The model can be utilized to establish areas of concern when developing mosquito surveillance or preventative measures in the Southwestern United States.


Climate Change; Culex; Mosquitos; Temperature; Vector; West Nile Virus


Epidemiology | Public Health

File Format


File Size

1860 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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