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Geospatial tech to predict next cholera outbreak

US: As cholera continues to ravage parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America — reportedly reaching Puerto Rico and Hong Kong this week — public health researchers are using satellite images of the oceans to anticipate future outbreaks, The Huffington Post reported.
According to the report, ever since John Snow first identified cholera in London 150 years ago, researchers have focused primarily on understanding the microbiology of the bacteria, Vibrio cholera, and how to help the human body combat it.
Despite substantial progress made on this front, the disease continues to be a global threat, affecting 3 to 5 million people annually and killing more than 100,000 of its victims, according to the World Health Organization. Experts don’t expect it to go away any time soon.
According to Shafiqul Islam, an expert in environmental engineering and water diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts in the US, NASA satellites could identify the chlorophyll abundant in phytoplankton within the Earth’s oceans. Since zooplankton feed on phytoplankton and also carry the toxic bacteria, satellites could be used to develop prediction models that forecast cholera outbreaks two to three months in advance.
Source: The Huffington Post