Satellite imaging and vector-borne diseases: the approach of the French National Space Agency (CNES)

Extract of Geospatial Health 3(1), 2008, pp. 1-5

Fabienne Marechal, Nathalie Ribeiro, Murielle Lafaye, Antonio Güell  [1]


Tele-epidemiology consists in studying human and animal epidemic, the spread of which is closely tied to environmental factors, using data from earth-orbiting satellites. By combining various data originated from satellites such as SPOT (vegetation indexes), Meteosat (winds and cloud masses) and other Earth observation data from Topex/Poseidon and Envisat (wave height, ocean temperature and colour) with hydrology data (number and distribution of lakes, water levels in rivers and reservoirs) and clinical data from humans and animals (clinical cases and serum use), predictive mathematical models can be constructed. A number of such approaches have been tested in the last three years. In Senegal, for example, Rift Valley fever epidemics are being monitored using a predictive model based on the rate at which water holes dry out after the rainy season, which affects the number of mosquito eggs which carry the virus.

Keywords: satellites, Earth-observation, tele-epidemiology, vector-borne disease, mathematical modelling.

[1Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, 18 avenue Edouard Belin 31, 401 Toulouse Cedex 9, France

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