3024.0: Monday, October 22, 2001 - 1:00 PM

Abstract #23609

Using GIS in animal bite surveillance to target prevention

James N. Agyemang, EdD, Witold M. Migala, MPH, PhD, and Michael J. Kazda, MA. Department of Public Health, City of Fort Worth, 1800 University Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76107

In 1999, the City of Fort Worth investigated over nine hundred animal bites. Victims experienced injuries of varying severity and exposure to disease, including rabies. In 2000, the City of Fort Worth Public Health Department was awarded an Innovations Grant by the Texas Department of Health to develop an original bite surveillance program utilizing a geographic information system (GIS). Targeting high-risk areas identified through GIS surveillance enhances the effectiveness of bite reduction interventions. Geographic analysis of these data drives educational and social marketing interventions as well as the allocation of personnel and equipment. Methods: ArcView GIS software is used to geocode and map animal bite incidents. Frequencies and rates are illustrated in color-coded maps stratified by geographic regions. Spatial analysis of bite data optimizes effective geographic and demographic targeting of bite prevention programs and other resources. Results: Geocoding and mapping bite incident data with a GIS are effective in the identification of potential clusters and allow for more informed deployment of resources and targeting of interventions throughout the community. A significant reduction in the incidence of animal bites is anticipated from focusing educational and social marketing interventions on potential bite victims and pet owners. Conclusions: The implementation of a GIS-based animal bite surveillance system permits visualization of spatial data in new and informative ways. Spatial analysis of animal bite data using a GIS promotes deployment of resources to effect significant reductions in animal bite incidents and objective analysis of program outcomes.

Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of the presentation the participant will be able to: 1. Recognize the effectiveness of spatial analysis in planning and evaluation of intervention programs. 2. Understand how geographic information systems can be used to enhance the effectiveness of surveillance activities. 3. Assess the necessary components for employing a GIS-based surveillance system in their jurisdiction.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA