International Journal of Health Promotion and Education | 2019
How mapping can reduce threats to public health
ABSTRACT Worldwide, the number of deaths attributable to communicable diseases is on a steady decline. Although there have been significant decreases in deaths due to communicable diseases, infectious diseases have not become a negligible cause of illness and death. Because of a recent emergence in the US, we sought to explore the spread of one communicable disease: Zika virus. Because of the threat to individual and public health posed by Zika, this study sought to examine the presence of the virus in Cameron County Texas from 1 January 2016 to 20 September 2018. Using geographical analysis, the goal of this study was to explore potential patterns in the spread of the infectious disease in order to forecast community risk. While the overall numbers of cases of Zika virus may decrease, this project’s findings indicate a geographic spread of the virus through Cameron county Texas. This geographic spread of Zika virus is a public health issue for concern. GIS mapping can help address this public health concern by offering support to public health officials in assessing the outbreaks of infectious diseases. Moreover, the details provided through geographic exploration can support public health officials in anticipating communities at risk for the spread of communicable disease.