Disease Outbreaks Predicted by Monitoring Cities from Space

Disease Outbreaks Predicted by Monitoring Cities from Space

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The bright lights of a big city, as seen from space, may predict outbreaks of some diseases, such as measles, and help officials to prevent epidemics. By analyzing changes in the brightness of cities over time, researchers in a new study are estimating changes in population density—an important factor in disease spread. Seasonal changes in population may be behind the seasonality of disease outbreaks in cities with mobile citizenry—for example, those in an agriculture-based economy.

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