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Diagnosing fevers better: Improving diagnosis of febrile illnesses by uniting disease ecology and satellite imagery

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HealthBridge and colleagues at the University of Ottawa are working with partners in Tanzania to further refine the mosquito habitat mapping (described in the project “Increasing capacity in disease vector modelling to improve malaria and arbovirus mitigation strategies”). This work includes mapping seasonal variation in suitable habitats and developing predictive models of local malaria and arbovirus risk. The seasonal predictions of local malaria and arbovirus risk will be integrated into a smartphone application that will be used to diagnose patients with a fever.


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Expected Results

With this research, we are bridging the gap between disease ecology and clinical diagnosis. We will develop disease risk models for malaria and arboviral infections based on how much habitat is available over time. These risk models will be integrated into a smartphone application that can be used by clinic workers and community health workers to better diagnose and treat fevers. This will reduce overtreatment for malaria, which not only fails to treat the true cause of a patient’s illness but also contributes to the development of drug resistance.