Washington D.C., Sept. 8 (ANI): A new study has revealed that mobile phone records may predict epidemics of mosquito-borne dengue virus.
In the study, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers analysed data from a large dengue outbreak in Pakistan in 2013 and compared it to a transmission model they developed based on climate information and mobility data gleaned from call records.
Data from nearly 40 million mobile phone subscribers was processed with the call records being aggregated and anonymised before analysis.
According to the results, the in-country mobility patterns, revealed by the call records, could be used to accurately predict the geographical spread and timing of outbreaks in locations of recent epidemics and emerging trouble spots.
Lead author Amy Wesolowski said that because mobile phone data were continuously being collected, they could be used to help national control programs plan in near real time.
Dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease worldwide. Infection can lead to sudden high fever, bleeding, and shock, and causes significant mortality.
The study is published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)