Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Disease Mapping and Surveillance

“Satellite images and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can provide public health officials with vital information needed to detect and manage certain disease outbreaks. In order to properly plan, manage and monitor any public health system, it is very important to have up to date, relevant information available to decision-makers at all levels throughout all regions of the world.

“Also known as Landscape Epidemiology, which involves the identification of geographical areas where disease is transmitted. By knowing the vegetation and geologic conditions necessary for the maintenance of specific pathogens in nature, one can use the landscape to identify the spatial and temporal distribution of disease risk. Key environmental elements, including elevation, temperature, rainfall, and humidity, influence the presence, development, activity, and longevity of pathogens, vectors, zoonotic reservoirs of infection, and their interactions with humans.”

[Source: Satellite Imaging Corporation]

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