Are There Zika Mosquitoes in Your County?


Let's create a souped-up SAS map that can track Zika-carrying mosquitoes down to the county level, in the US.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post with a world map of documented locations of the Aedes mosquitoes that could carry the Zika virus. The world map showed a high concentration of Aedes mosquitoes in Brazil, where there is a huge Zika outbreak (and where some Olympic athletes are now refusing to go), but the map also showed a somewhat large number of these mosquitoes in the US.

Although the US hasn't had an outbreak of Zika yet, it would be interesting to know specifically which counties might be affected should that happen.

And this brings us to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) US county map. My blog editor gave me a heads-up about an article on today.com that showed this county map. She mentioned that my SAS maps had spoiled her, because she wanted to be able to hover her mouse over the areas in this map, to see the county names (for example, the 4 yellow counties in NC).

So I set about finding the data, and creating my own SAS map, with hover-text and maybe a few other enhancements, such as a title and a color legend. Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket!

After a bit of Googling, I found a paper about the study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, and thankfully the paper had a link to the data. I copy-and-pasted the data from the Microsoft Word document into a text file, and then wrote SAS code to read the data into a SAS dataset. I used Proc SQL to merge in the numeric FIPS codes for the counties, and then was able to easily plot it on a map. Click on the image/snapshot below, to see the interactive version with mouse-over text to show the county names.

zika_aedes_aegypti

While reading the paper, I noticed that they actually had two maps -- one for each of the two mosquitoes that could carry the Zika virus. I don't know why the today.com article only showed one map (and why they chose the map that showed the most sparsely-populated mosquito). Here's my SAS version of the second map, showing the Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Ironically, I don't really need mouse-over text for this map. Pretty much every county in North Carolina has these mosquitoes. Yikes!

zika_aedes_albopictus

So, what's your favorite trick for keeping away mosquitoes? Feel free to share in a comment.

I suppose if we have a really bad Zika outbreak in the US, we could all start wearing beekeeper clothes, eh? If it comes to that, my friend Brian is ready.

This content was reposted from the SAS Training Post. Go there to read the original.

Robert Allison, The Graph Guy!, SAS

Robert Allison has worked at SAS for more than 20 years and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in computer science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book calledSAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics.

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Re: Zika? Zikes!
  • 7/5/2016 12:16:14 AM
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..

Jim writes


As glamorous as Rio parties may have seemed in the past, I'm glad I wasn't invited to this one.


 

As of the moment, the Olympics in Rio seems to be shaping up as an epic, Olympic-sized fail. Athens and Sochi had their problems. But the word now being used to predict the Rio Olympics is "castatrophe".

That's in the title of a fairly jaw-dropping report in the July 1st New York Times by Brazilian columnist Vanessa Barbara: Brazil's Olympic Catastrophe.

In her lede, Barbara puts it this way: "The Olympic Games in Rio are an unnatural disaster."

In the bigger picture, the Zika virus is just a minor inconvenience. Barbara cites a litany of unfinished venues with little perceptible progress, street gunbattles, fiscal collapse. They've already declared a "state of public calamity". Wow.


A financial crisis is preventing the state from honoring its commitments to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the governor said. That crisis is so severe, he said, it could eventually bring about "a total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility and environmental management." The authorities are now authorized to ration essential public services and the state is eligible for emergency funds from the federal government.


 

There are ongoing strikes and protests. And in addition, the preident is being impeached in an ongoing political crisis. Then add to this what seems to be open warfare on the city's streets ...


Frequent shootouts near the Olympic arenas and on routes to them are also a concern: 76 people have been hit by stray bullets in Rio so far this year; 21 of them have died. On June 19, more than 20 men carrying assault rifles and hand grenades stormed the city's largest public hospital to free an alleged drug kingpin in police custody, leaving one person dead and two hurt.


 

Makes me wonder about the IOC's decision to award the Games to Rio: What were they thinking?

 

Re: Zika? Zikes!
  • 7/4/2016 6:11:36 PM
NO RATINGS

"Rio has gotta be the party of the century. Jim gets most of the fun on his list: "crime, pollution, incredible congestion, and the terror danger" plus Zika."

@Lyndon. As glamorous as Rio parties may have seemed in the past, I'm glad I wasn't invited to this one.

Re: Prevention
  • 7/4/2016 3:58:28 PM
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I think that in additon to these criteria we should also include maps of where it has spread and predictions of the spread.

Re: Prevention
  • 7/4/2016 2:11:41 PM
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What might be important to know is the probable odds of contracting the virus based on various criteria of sex, county, and travel. Although one never knows when a serious outbreak may or may not happen it still at this point seems rather rare that we or anyone we know will suffer the effects.

Re: Zika? Zikes!
  • 7/1/2016 11:02:28 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Jim writes


 Like anyone really needed to blame a disease for not wanting to go to the Olympics (crime, pollution, incredible congestion, and the terror danger, even before Zika made headlines)?


 

Rio has gotta be the party of the century. Jim gets most of the fun on his list: "crime, pollution, incredible congestion, and the terror danger" plus Zika. 

But there's also the impeachment of the president under way, intermittent violent protests, and recent news of protests and strikes by health workers that are underfunded in the campaign to fight mosquitos and the Zika menace. The mosquitos may get to have the most fun!

    

Re: Prevention
  • 7/1/2016 4:53:37 PM
NO RATINGS

I agree. the threat is for more than just pregnant women. Although for many the symptoms seem minor, there is some evidence that some neurological symptoms do not show up right away. We should all be concerned abut this disease.

Re: Prevention
  • 7/1/2016 8:06:28 AM
NO RATINGS

 "It's pregnant wormen that have the most to worry about."

I'd expand that to anyone of child bearing age who may produce a child in the next 6 months to a year.  Part of the fear with Zika is that it can be sexually transmitted and there isn't enough data to show how long it can survive in the body after the initial symptoms fade.  A young couple looking to start a family may mistake Zika for the flu, think nothing of it then start trying to get that family started.  If the virus is still in his system he can pass it to her and the baby's chances of neurological issues is greatly increased.  It's not new but it is spreading wider than it ever has and we have a better idea of how it spreads. 

The vaccine is still brand new so we don't really now how effective it is either or if it causes other issues in pregnant women.  A lot of unknowns with this one and sending a mass of people into an area that we know has a higher infection rate seems like a poor idea. 

 

Re: Prevention
  • 6/30/2016 9:59:33 PM
NO RATINGS

You all may be interested in a book called "Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole: A Renowned Neurologist Explains the Mystery and Drama of Brain Disease". Gillian-barr is suspected in several unsolved cases. I wonder is Zika was an unknown cause for some of them.

Re: Prevention
  • 6/30/2016 9:45:12 PM
NO RATINGS

Seth while you are right most people have minor symptoms some people are developing neurological problems and some are even dying.It's the risk of being one of the unlucky ones.

Re: Zika? Zikes!
  • 6/30/2016 9:43:17 PM
NO RATINGS

When it comes to excuses, we have many good ones to choose from, but the real reason usually is never divulged. Usually the real reason is indefensible.

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