The Value of Information pp 231-255
Space Imaging and Prevention of Infectious Disease: Rift Valley Fever
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease causing febrile illness and death in domestic livestock (cattle, sheep, goats) and humans. In Africa, RVF erupts following abnormally high rainfall and flooding. Remote sensing surveillance of vegetative growth could provide early warning, weeks to months in advance of RVF emergence, and thus permit intervention strategies to ameliorate and prevent this infectious disease. To act on this advance notice, however, public health officials must quantify the economic cost associated with the disease (in terms of losses to agriculture and international trade as well as human morbidity and mortality) and weigh the averted losses against the diversion of financial and public health resources dedicated to other major ongoing health needs, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. Other complications include the accuracy of the predictions, the shelf life of vaccines, and the effectiveness of vector control strategies.
KeywordsRemote sensing Infectious disease surveillance Rift Valley fever Satellite data Mosquito-borne disease
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