Developing a CASPER Survey to Assess the Prevalence of Risk Factors for Neglected Tropical Diseases in Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • While more than a billion people live at risk of neglected tropical diseases in areas of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, the degree to which such diseases burden countries like the United States is currently unclear. Even though many neglected tropical diseases such as dengue, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease are not endemic to the United States, the possibility of their emergence is noteworthy, especially in states like Texas, which has high levels of poverty, a large immigrant population, and a climate amenable to the vectors for these diseases and is geographically proximate to endemic areas. Despite the health threat that emerging neglected tropical diseases may pose, little is known about the prevalence of risk factors for them in the United States. Texas House Bill 2055, enacted on September 1, 2015, mandated the establishment of a surveillance program for neglected tropical diseases in Texas. After reviewing the potential risk factors for transmission in Texas, we developed a 41-question survey that could be implemented using the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) method. In concert with public health surveillance and vector population monitoring, data from CASPERs could be used to quickly and cost-effectively assess the prevalence of risk factors for 10 neglected tropical diseases in Texas or elsewhere in the United States. The data generated by future CASPERs conducted using this survey could be immediately actionable, guiding public health priority setting and decision making.

published proceedings

  • Health Secur

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Smitherman, S., Hammond, T., Goldberg, D., & Horney, J.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Smitherman, Seth||Hammond, Tracy||Goldberg, Daniel||Horney, Jennifer

publication date

  • January 2017