Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease that may produce a considerable impact on the economy in affected countries. In the last decades, the geographic distribution of RVF virus has increased including most of the countries in Africa, Arabia Saudi and Yemen. This situation has raised the concerns regarding its potential introduction in the European Union (EU) countries where the high number of susceptible species and competent vectors may contribute to the spread of the disease and challenge its rapid control. Thus, the identification of the areas and time periods with highest suitability for RVF outbreak occurrence would be useful for improving the early detection and rapid response of the disease into free countries. The objective of this study was to identify suitable areas for the occurrence of RVF outbreaks in Spain using a multiple criteria decision making model based on weighted linear combination of factors in geographical information systems (GIS). To the best of the author's knowledge this is the first comprehensive GIS-based framework that provides risk maps for RVF suitability in an EU country. Spanish zones with the highest suitability for RVF were concentrated in the regions of Extremadura, south-western Castile and Leon, eastern Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country, northern-central and southern region of Andalusia and in the Balearic Islands. October and May were the most suitable months for RVF outbreak occurrence. Methods and results presented here may be useful to target risk-based surveillance strategies and to more cost-effectively control potential RVFV incursions into Spain.
- Multiple criteria decision making
- Rift Valley fever
- Spatial analysis
- Weighted linear combination
ASJC Scopus subject areas