Infectious disease and the South Texas colonias



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In this study, I investigated infectious disease in Texas, with a focus on the impacts of poverty and lack of infrastructure in the South Texas colonias on rates of infectious disease. I used Bayesian statistical methods, and in particular, hierarchical conditional autoregressive Poisson regression to model county-level rates of hospitalization across the state. According to that model, and with at least 97.5% probability, the average risk of hospitalization is greater in counties containing colonias as compared to counties which do not for the following infectious disease categories tracked by the Texas Department of State Health Services: Amebiasis, Brucellosis, Candidiasis, Chickenpox, Coccidoidomycosis, Ill defined intestinal infections, Intestinal infections due to other organisms, Bacterial food poisoning, Rickettsioses, Salmonella infections, Typhus, Viral Exanthemata, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Septicemia, Shigellosis, Diseases due to Coxsackie virus, Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, and Whooping cough