Satellite imagery helps predict disease outbreak

Using satellite images to measure night-time light levels streaming from West African cities could prove to be an important new tool in fighting the spread of measles, according to a new study published in the December 9 issue of the journal Science.

The research team analysed night-time satellite images of three cities in Niger taken between 2000 and 2004, and found that seasonal population surges correlated strongly with local measles epidemic outbreaks recorded for the same period. Although the disease has been largely eradicated in the US through long-standing immunization programs, thousands annually in West Africa are killed.

The study claims that the method could be used to control other diseases such as meningitis that spread quickly through dense populations.

Source: UFL; Geospatial World

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern. sachiye@vertices.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s