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Is there a Relationship between Income and Infectious Disease: Evidence from Cameron County

Authors
  • Scarbrough, Amanda W.1
  • Holt, Melinda Miller2
  • Hill, Jack3
  • Kafle, Ram C.2
  • 1 Sam Houston State University, Department of Population Health, 1806 Ave J, Huntsville, TX, 77340, USA , Huntsville (United States)
  • 2 Sam Houston State University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 1806 Ave J, Huntsville, TX, 77340, USA , Huntsville (United States)
  • 3 Sam Houston State University, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 2424 Sam Houston Avenue, Suite B, Huntsville, TX, 77341, USA , Huntsville (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Community Well-Being
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 03, 2019
Volume
2
Issue
1
Pages
3–13
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s42413-019-00020-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Research on poverty indicates that lower income is linked to poorer health. The lower an individual’s income, the higher is his or her likelihood of disease and premature death. Furthermore, some research indicates that a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease may exist for those living in poverty. This study explored the potential existence of a relationship between income and Zika virus. Through analysis using 3.4.0 Version of the R Statistical Package, the median disposable income of the household was found to be significant in predicting the Zika virus counts. Specifically, the study looked at the relationship between household income and the risk of contagion in Cameron County, the southernmost county in Texas, which has been named as “Zika cautionary” by the Centers for Disease Control. Our analysis shows the existence of such a relationship, specifically that an increase in median disposable annual income per household in Cameron County of $100 per month was associated with a 15.6% decrease in the expected rate of occurrence of Zika Virus.

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