Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Avoiding a cartography catastrophe: Study recommends new tools to improve global mapping of infectious disease

Date:
February 4, 2013
Source:
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
Summary:
Since the mid-nineteenth century, maps have helped elucidate the deadly mysteries of diseases like cholera and yellow fever. Yet today's global mapping of infectious diseases is considerably unreliable and may do little to inform the control of potential outbreaks, according to a new systematic mapping review of all clinically important infectious diseases known to humans.

An online, open-access database included in the study evaluates the quality of data available for all clinically important infectious diseases known to humans, such as West Nile fever.
Credit: GIDEON

Since the mid-nineteenth century, maps have helped elucidate the deadly mysteries of diseases like cholera and yellow fever. Yet today's global mapping of infectious diseases is considerably unreliable and may do little to inform the control of potential outbreaks, according to a new systematic mapping review of all clinically important infectious diseases known to humans.

Of the 355 infectious diseases assessed in the review, 174 showed a strong rationale for mapping and less than 5 percent of those have been mapped reliably. Unreliable mapping makes it difficult to fully understand the geographic scope and threat of disease and therefore make informed policy recommendations for managing it, write the authors of the study, which appears as open access on Feb. 4 in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

An online, open-access database, which accompanies the study, provides a quantitative scheme for evaluating the quality of data available for each infectious disease as well as specific mapping recommendations for each disease. Among the recommendations for improving disease cartography are the use of new crowdsourcing techniques to gather data, such as analyzing the content and frequency of Twitter messages about disease. Twitter feeds during the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, for example, predicted outbreaks sooner than traditional disease surveillance methods.

"We have shown that novel solutions exist to enable us to use up-to-date data and technology to rapidly improve our geographic knowledge of a wide range of clinically important pathogens," said Katherine Battle, one of the study's co-authors from the University of Oxford.

Unique to the review is the inclusion of how the basic reproduction rate, which is the primary epidemiological number used to determine the degree which a disease can spread through a population, might vary among pathogens.

"There is a clear need for better estimates of the potential growth of infectious diseases that allow spatial variations to be taken into consideration, and this paper is a wonderful contribution to help us meet this need," said Louis Gross, the director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, which sponsored a workshop in 2011 that produced the paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon I. Hay, Katherine E. Battle, David M. Pigott, David L. Smith, Catherine L. Moyes, Samir Bhatt, John S. Brownstein, Nigel Collier, Monica F. Myers, Dylan B. George, and Peter W. Gething. Global mapping of infectious disease. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 2013; 368: 20120250 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0250

Cite This Page:

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). "Avoiding a cartography catastrophe: Study recommends new tools to improve global mapping of infectious disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204095930.htm>.
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). (2013, February 4). Avoiding a cartography catastrophe: Study recommends new tools to improve global mapping of infectious disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204095930.htm
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). "Avoiding a cartography catastrophe: Study recommends new tools to improve global mapping of infectious disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204095930.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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