Assessing the Prevalence of Risk Factors for Neglected Tropical Diseases in Brazos County, Texas

Conclusion Although NTDs may increasingly pose a threat to health in the U.S., insufficient data exists to ascertain the prevalence and geographic distribution of risk factors relevant to these diseases. Concern over the potential for increasing rates of NTD infection and transmission in Texas led the Texas State Legislature to mandate the establishment of a surveillance program for NTDs. We tested one potential methodology for the surveillance of NTDs; the use of CASPER for assessing the prevalence of risk factors in Brazos County, Texas. Although Texas has a population of more than 25 million, the second largest in the U.S., targeted use of the CASPER method would allow high-risk areas to be identified at the city, county, or regional level. To be effective as a surveillance tool, additional CASPERs should be conducted in areas of the state where there have been more documented cases of NTDs (e.g., the Rio Grande Valley or the City of Houston). After locations with a high prevalence of risk factors are identified, additional public health studies and interventions, such as seroprevalence studies, case interviews and contact tracing, and vector surveillance and sampling could be used to study transmission dynamics in greater detail. Once the prevalence of risk factors for NTDs in Texas is better understood, public health departments can help reduce transmission by making people more aware of the diseases, stressing vector reduction and avoidance of potential hosts like stray...
Source: PLOS Currents Outbreaks - Category: Epidemiology Authors: Source Type: research

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