Study: Malaria outbreaks can be forecast

Feb 01, 2006

A British study suggests malaria epidemics can be predicted up to five months in advance by using a climate forecasting computer model.

Climate drives both the development of the malaria parasite and the behavior of the mosquitoes that carry it, said Tim Palmer, chief of the predictability and seasonal forecast division at the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, England.

Palmer and colleagues developed a system that uses climate data to forecast potential anomalously high or low incidences of malaria. They successfully used the model to retrospectively predict malaria epidemics in Botswana from 1982 to 2002.

A previous study established that monitoring rainfall and sea surface temperature could predict the peak of a malaria season up to one month in advance. But with an extra four months of lead time, Palmer and his associates suggest insecticides could be more strategically targeted and drug stocks better managed.

The research appears in the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ancient Greek well yields rare wooden statue

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New UN force on climate impacts on health

Jul 08, 2014

Two UN agencies on Tuesday announced they were setting up a joint office to help fight the threat to health from climate change and extreme weather.

Climate conditions help forecast meningitis outbreaks

Mar 18, 2014

Determining the role of climate in the spread of certain diseases can assist health officials in "forecasting" epidemics. New research on meningitis incidence in sub-Saharan Africa pinpoints wind and dust ...

Predicting climate-change-related disease in Africa

Nov 22, 2013

It is common knowledge that climate change particularly affects developing countries, but its effects on health are still very hard to predict. In a joint effort to bridge this gap, the QWECI project set ...

Recommended for you

Data indicate there is no immigration crisis

9 hours ago

Is there an "immigration crisis" on the U.S.-Mexico border? Not according to an examination of historical immigration data, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The unexpected benefits of adjustable rate mortgages

10 hours ago

Using loan level data matched to consumer credit records, researchers have been able to determine that a reduction in mortgage payments of as little as $150 a month spurred a reduction in mortgage defaults and an increase ...

User comments : 0