Opinion: Big data can prevent global health crises — it’s time to make the most of it Oct 25, 2016

Opinion: Big data can prevent global health crises — it’s time to make the most of it

Every year, more than 1 million people die from vector-borne diseases. These diseases are carried by mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, who once infected can transmit the disease to hundreds of victims in an alarmingly short time frame.

Globalization of travel and trade, unplanned urbanization and environmental challenges such as climate change have had a significant impact on disease transmission in recent years. Some diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and West Nile virus, are emerging in countries where they were previously unknown.
 
Dengue fever is of particular interest given its geographic spread, public health impact and capacity for disrupting health systems. It causes fever, headache, vomiting, joint pain and a skin rash, and has been linked to pregnancy risks. Spread by the same mosquito responsible for the Zika outbreak, it is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral infection in the world today. Read more.

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