U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



GeoJournal (2011) 76:257–266; DOI 10.1007/s10708-010-9338-x


A spatially explicit degree-day model was used to evaluate the risk of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) transmission by mosquitoes to humans and livestock within five target states in the continental United States: California, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and Texas. A geographic information system was used to model potential virus transmission based on a 12-day moving window assessment of the extrinsic incubation period theorized for RVFV in the United States. Risk of potential virus transmission in each state was spatially evaluated on a 10-km grid using average historical daily temperature data from 1994 to 2003. The highest levels of transmission risk occur in California and Texas, with parts of these states at risk of RVFV transmission for up to 8 months per year. Northern Minnesota, central New York, and most of coastal and high-elevation California are at low to null risk. Risk of impact to the livestock industry is greatest in California, Texas, and Nebraska. A standard global climate model was used to evaluate future risk in the year 2030 in Nebraska, and showed an increase of transmission risk days from approximately 3 to 4 months per year.