Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases

Date:
May 18, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Every 30 seconds, infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis kill as many people as Jack the Ripper did in his entire career. New research demonstrates how the mathematical model of geographic profiling, used in the hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases.

Every 30 seconds, infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis kill as many people as Jack the Ripper did in his entire career. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal International Journal of Health Geographics demonstrates how the mathematical model of geographic profiling, used in the hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases.

Geographic profiling is a statistical technique which uses the locations of crimes to identify areas in which the serial criminal is most likely to live and work, and was originally developed to help police prioritize suspects. Typically, such cases involve too many, rather than too few, suspects. For example, in the late 1970s police had to sort through over a quarter of a million names in the Yorkshire Ripper enquiry. Geographic profiling has been successfully used by law enforcement agencies around the world, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Scotland Yard and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Now, research led by Dr Steven Le Comber in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, has shown that this method can use the locations of disease cases to identify the source of the disease.

Dr Le Comber, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Miami and Ain Shams University in Cairo, as well as with the inventor of geographic profiling (former detective turned Professor of Criminal Justice Kim Rossmo from Texas State University), examined a classic study, the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, and more recent cases of malaria in Cairo. In both cases geographic profiling successfully located the sources of the disease -- the Broad Street pump in London, and the breeding habitats of the mosquito Anopheles sergentii in Cairo.

"This is a very exciting development," said Dr Le Comber. "Correctly applied, geographic profiling shows great promise as a useful component of policy relating to the control of a wide variety of infectious diseases. Evidence-based targeting of interventions like this is more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective than untargeted intervention."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven C Le Comber, D KIM Rossmo, Ali N Hassan, Doug O Fuller and John C Beier. Geographic profiling as a novel spatial tool for targeting infectious disease control. International Journal of Health Geographics, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, May 18). CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm
BioMed Central. "CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins