South Dakota is the U.S. hotspot for West Nile disease. Scientists and public health officials there developed a way to use environmental data from NASA satellites to forecast the risk of West Nile. They’re giving people working on preventing the disease an important new tool for protecting the population.
University researchers have turned to data from NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites, which are able to track the types of human and environmental events that typically precede an outbreak. With funding from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, they are working in partnership with the Peruvian government to develop a system that uses satellite and other data to help forecast outbreaks at the household level months in advance and prevent outbreaks.