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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: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2012/121012_1.html

New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22370-cellphones-track-how-malaria-spreads-in-kenya.html

CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/13/health/kenya-malaria/index.html

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/10/11/tracking-malaria-with-cell-phones/

Scientific American: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/10/11/cell-phone-data-could-help-clip-malaria-spread/

The Financial: http://finchannel.com/Main_News/B_Schools/117623_Using_Cell_Phone_Data_to_Curb_the_Spread_of_Malaria/

Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251425.php