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Eastern equine encephalitis virus, index model, maximum covering location model, spatial optimization

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Diseases carried by mosquitoes and other arthropods endanger human health globally. Though costly, surveillance efforts are vital for disease control and prevention This paper describes an approach for strategically configuring targeted disease surveillance sites across a study area. The methodology combines risk index mapping and spatial optimization modelling. The risk index is used to identify demand for surveillance, and the maximum covering location problem is used to select a specified number of candidate surveillance sites that covers the maximum amount of risk. The approach is demonstrated using a case study where optimal locations for sentinel surveillance sites are selected for the purposes of detecting eastern equine encephalitis virus in a county in the state of Florida. Optimal sentinel sites were selected under a number of scenarios that modelled different target populations (horses or humans), coverage distances (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 km), and numbers of sites to select (1–12). Sentinel site selections for the horse and human models displayed different spatial patterns, with horse sites located largely in the west-central region and human ones in the north-central. Minor amounts of spatial overlap between the horse and human sites were observed, especially as coverage distances and numbers of sites were increased. Additionally, a near linear increase in risk coverage was observed as sites were incrementally added to the scenarios. This finding suggests that the number of sentinel sites within the ranges explored should be based on the maximum that can be funded, since they provide similar levels of benefit.

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Annals of GIS, v. 26, issue 1, p. 13-23