Top menu

Cell phones are proving a useful tool for tracking the spread of malaria

30 October 2012

Humans can — and regularly do — travel much further than the mosquitoes that carry malaria, potentially allowing the parasites to hitch a ride into new territories. Researchers used detailed cell phone records to map the location of nearly 15 million Kenyan mobile phone subscribers over a year period. Combining this fine-grained data with information on regional malaria prevalence allowed researchers to identify key routes for parasite dispersal within the country – useful information for malaria containment and control measures.

The findings are published in Science: Wesolowski A, Eagle N, Tatem AJ, Smith DL, Noor AM, et al. (2012) Quantifying the Impact of Human Mobility on Malaria. Science 12 October 2012: 338 (6104), 267-270. doi:10.1126/science.1223467. 


Additional coverage:

Oxford University:

New Scientist:


ABC News:

Scientific American:

The Financial:

Medical News Today: