Environmental Biosurveillance for Epidemic Prediction: Experience with Rift Valley Fever

  • Jean-Paul Chretien
  • Assaf Anyamba
  • Jennifer Small
  • Compton J. Tucker
  • Seth C. Britch
  • Kenneth J. Linthicum
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5354)


Despite established links between climate and infectious disease activity, few biosurveillance systems use climatic data to forecast epidemics. The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects weather worldwide and in East Africa is associated with flooding and Rift Valley fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease of economically important livestock and humans. Following a regional ENSO-associated outbreak in 1997-1998, several agencies created a system to forecast RVF using satellite-based monitoring of ENSO and other climatic phenomena. The system generated 5 alerts since 2005. Following 3, in South Africa (2008), Sudan (2007), and East Africa (2006), RVF occurred in high-risk areas (no other RVF outbreaks were reported in monitored areas). Alerts for the Arabian Peninsula (2005) and Sudan (2005) were not followed by RVF reports, though the latter preceded a large Yellow Fever epidemic. Future directions for the system include decision analysis to guide public health interventions and extension to other climate-associated risks.


Biosurveillance Remote Sensing Forecasting Modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Paul Chretien
    • 1
  • Assaf Anyamba
    • 2
  • Jennifer Small
    • 2
  • Compton J. Tucker
    • 2
  • Seth C. Britch
    • 3
  • Kenneth J. Linthicum
    • 3
  1. 1.Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Division of Preventive MedicineSilver SpringUSA
  2. 2.US NationalAeronautics and Space Administration-Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  3. 3.US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical Agricultural, and Veterinary EntomologyGainesvilleUSA

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