Researcher Lars Skog at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) is one of several experts in geoinformatics that are developing mapping systems that can help arrest the spread of disease. Skog is working to develop a mapping method that can help combat the Ebola outbreak currently underway in West Africa.
Skog previously investigated how geography affected the spread of diseases such as the Black Death, the Russian flu pandemic of 1889, and the swine flu outbreak from several years ago. Skog says his method will enable health workers on the ground to report and share information about the current state of a pandemic, to predict a disease's spread, and to identify high-risk areas before the disease arrives.
In the case of Ebola, Skog says he is working to integrate information about the fruit bats that are believed to be the disease's primary carrier. Information about fruit bat populations, migrations, and factors that may affect either can help Skog predict where the disease may spread next. He says combining this information with data about how the disease is spread from information gathered in the field in real time will help support efforts to contain the spread of Ebola.
From KTH Royal Institute of Technology
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