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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2018 Feb;65(1):85-95. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12608. Epub 2017 Feb 12.

Quantifying the potential pathways and locations of Rift Valley fever virus entry into the United States.

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Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.


The global invasion of West Nile virus, chikungunya virus and Zika virus in the past two decades suggests an increasing rate of mosquito-borne virus (arbovirus) dispersal. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an arbovirus identified as a high-consequence threat to the United States (USA) because of the severe economic and health consequences associated with disease. Numerous studies demonstrate that the USA is receptive to RVFV transmission based on the widespread presence of competent mosquito species and vertebrate species. In this study, the potential pathways and locations of RVFV entry into the USA were quantitatively estimated to support a priori surveillance and RVFV prevention strategies. International movement data, ecological data and epidemiological data were combined to estimate the number of RVFV-infected mosquitoes entering the USA. Results suggest infected humans travelling by plane pose the highest risk of importing RVFV into the USA, followed by the unintentional transport of infected adult mosquitoes by ship and airplane. Furthermore, New York, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Georgia, and Houston, Texas, are implicated as the most likely regions of RVFV entry. Results are interpreted and discussed to support the prediction and mitigation of RVFV spread to the USA.


Emerging Disease; Rift Valley fever; arboviruses; modelling; mosquitoes; prevention and control; vector biology

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