The battle against dengue fever has just got another weapon in its arsenal – the crowd. People from all over the world can help reduce the disease’s impact by using Dengue Track, a new disease mapping tool.
The user-friendly online chat tool will build a crowdsourced map of dengue outbreaks, translating big data into actionable information.
Dengue fever is a viral disease of the tropics that is transmitted by mosquitos. Approximately 390 million people are infected every year, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 40% of the world’s population live in high risk areas.
Users of Dengue Track are encouraged to report cases of the illness near them. The system then adds crowd surveillance and data from social media and search engines to existing official data to hopefully build a clearer picture of dengue outbreaks – and to predict future outbreaks.
This new mapping tool was created by Break Dengue, an open platform for anyone concerned about the problem of dengue.
“This innovative crowdsourced disease surveillance tool is a game changer in the fight against dengue. Its interactive chat system is highly innovative and user-friendly,” commented Nicholas Brooke, Executive Director, Break Dengue.
360˚ View of Dengue
Improved disease surveillance is essential to tackling dengue, says the WHO Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control. However, getting this information from traditional sources can be a challenge. It is hoped that almost real-time information from people on the ground will help to fill this gap.
The more information that is collected the more detailed the picture of dengue outbreaks across the world, providing a “360˚ view of the disease,” said Break Dengue.