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Using satellite images of environmental changes to predict infectious disease outbreaks.

Ford TE, Colwell RR, Rose JB, Morse SS, Rogers DJ, Yates TL - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Bottom Line: A single person with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 2007 provided a wake-up call to the United States and global public health infrastructure, as the health professionals and the public realized that today's ease of airline travel can potentially expose hundreds of persons to an untreatable disease associated with an infectious agent.Ease of travel, population increase, population displacement, pollution, agricultural activity, changing socioeconomic structures, and international conflicts worldwide have each contributed to infectious disease events.We discuss advances in our ability to predict these events and, in particular, the critical role that satellite imaging could play in mounting an effective response.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of New England, Biddeford, Maine 04005, USA. tford@montana.edu

ABSTRACT
Recent events clearly illustrate a continued vulnerability of large populations to infectious diseases, which is related to our changing human-constructed and natural environments. A single person with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 2007 provided a wake-up call to the United States and global public health infrastructure, as the health professionals and the public realized that today's ease of airline travel can potentially expose hundreds of persons to an untreatable disease associated with an infectious agent. Ease of travel, population increase, population displacement, pollution, agricultural activity, changing socioeconomic structures, and international conflicts worldwide have each contributed to infectious disease events. Today, however, nothing is larger in scale, has more potential for long-term effects, and is more uncertain than the effects of climate change on infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. We discuss advances in our ability to predict these events and, in particular, the critical role that satellite imaging could play in mounting an effective response.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Components of a predictive model of infectious disease based on satellite imaging to assess environmental change. SST, sea surface temperature; SSH, sea surface height.
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Figure 2: Components of a predictive model of infectious disease based on satellite imaging to assess environmental change. SST, sea surface temperature; SSH, sea surface height.

Mentions: Current modeling of infectious diseases is by necessity retrospective. Environmental parameters measured by remote satellite imaging show the greatest promise for providing global coverage of changing environmental conditions. With current imaging technologies, we can measure sea surface temperature, sea surface height, chlorophyll A levels, and a variety of vegetation and soil indices, in addition to many other physical, biologic, and chemical parameters of the earth’s surface and atmosphere. A variety of these parameters can be incorporated in complex mathematical models, together with biotic and ecologic variables of the pathogen and host life cycles, to correlate environment with outbreaks of disease (Figure 2). However, we are still far from being able to accurately predict future disease events on the basis of existing environmental conditions.


Using satellite images of environmental changes to predict infectious disease outbreaks.

Ford TE, Colwell RR, Rose JB, Morse SS, Rogers DJ, Yates TL - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Components of a predictive model of infectious disease based on satellite imaging to assess environmental change. SST, sea surface temperature; SSH, sea surface height.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2819876&req=5

Figure 2: Components of a predictive model of infectious disease based on satellite imaging to assess environmental change. SST, sea surface temperature; SSH, sea surface height.
Mentions: Current modeling of infectious diseases is by necessity retrospective. Environmental parameters measured by remote satellite imaging show the greatest promise for providing global coverage of changing environmental conditions. With current imaging technologies, we can measure sea surface temperature, sea surface height, chlorophyll A levels, and a variety of vegetation and soil indices, in addition to many other physical, biologic, and chemical parameters of the earth’s surface and atmosphere. A variety of these parameters can be incorporated in complex mathematical models, together with biotic and ecologic variables of the pathogen and host life cycles, to correlate environment with outbreaks of disease (Figure 2). However, we are still far from being able to accurately predict future disease events on the basis of existing environmental conditions.

Bottom Line: A single person with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 2007 provided a wake-up call to the United States and global public health infrastructure, as the health professionals and the public realized that today's ease of airline travel can potentially expose hundreds of persons to an untreatable disease associated with an infectious agent.Ease of travel, population increase, population displacement, pollution, agricultural activity, changing socioeconomic structures, and international conflicts worldwide have each contributed to infectious disease events.We discuss advances in our ability to predict these events and, in particular, the critical role that satellite imaging could play in mounting an effective response.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of New England, Biddeford, Maine 04005, USA. tford@montana.edu

ABSTRACT
Recent events clearly illustrate a continued vulnerability of large populations to infectious diseases, which is related to our changing human-constructed and natural environments. A single person with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 2007 provided a wake-up call to the United States and global public health infrastructure, as the health professionals and the public realized that today's ease of airline travel can potentially expose hundreds of persons to an untreatable disease associated with an infectious agent. Ease of travel, population increase, population displacement, pollution, agricultural activity, changing socioeconomic structures, and international conflicts worldwide have each contributed to infectious disease events. Today, however, nothing is larger in scale, has more potential for long-term effects, and is more uncertain than the effects of climate change on infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. We discuss advances in our ability to predict these events and, in particular, the critical role that satellite imaging could play in mounting an effective response.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus