A British consortium funded by the UK Space Agency on Tuesday launched a pioneering dengue forecasting system in Vietnam, in the hope of curbing the spread of the deadly mosquito-borne disease that has afflicted the south east Asian nation for generations.
The “D-MOSS project” led by HR Wallingford, a British civil engineering and environmental hydraulics consultancy, uses a combination of satellite information, weather forecasting, and historical data on previous outbreaks to create an early warning system for potential dengue danger zones.
The combined information would allow communities and health authorities to prepare for and try to prevent a dengue outbreak several months in advance, Gina Tsarouchi, a senior engineer at HR Wallingford told The Telegraph. “It’s the first [of its kind] in the world,” she added.
Transmitted mainly by the aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue causes flu-like symptoms including high fever, rashes, joint pain and, in the worst cases, haemorrhaging and death.
The World Health Organization estimates that 50 to 100 million infections occur every year, including 500,000 haemorrhagic cases and 22,000 deaths, mostly among children.