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Malaria Early Warning Systems

  • Kristie L. Ebi
Part of the Biometeorology book series (BIOMET, volume 1)

Malaria is the most important vectorborne disease in the world; it is also preventable. Climate patterns and weather events play a role in determining the incidence and geographic range of malaria, including through changes in human behavior, effects on the pathogen (Plasmodium), and effects on the malaria vector (Anopheles). Better understanding of the associations between malaria and environmental variables has lead to increased interest in developing early warning systems that alert public health and vector control personnel about developing conditions that are associated with epidemics, combined with the ability to implement appropriate and effective interventions to reduce the number of expected cases. A key challenge has been the inability to predict when and where outbreaks will occur far enough in advance that timely interventions can be implemented. Advances in several areas could increase the sensitivity and specificity of malaria early warning systems, including improving long-range forecasting, monitoring of environmental variables, and case surveillance. Better understanding is needed of how to incorporate uncertainties when setting thresholds for early warning systems. In most areas where malaria epidemics occur, additional capacity is needed to effectively respond to a warning that an epidemic is predicted to occur. Despite the uncertainties and constraints, there is significant promise in using climatic and environmental variables to help regions prepare for and effectively respond to malaria epidemics. Projected climate change suggests increased malaria risks, emphasizing the need for more effective warning systems.

Keywords

Malaria Transmission Early Warning System Malaria Incidence Climate Suitability Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristie L. Ebi
    • 1
  1. 1.ESSLLCAlexandriaUSA

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