The risk of a number of mouse-to-human outbreaks can be predicted several months in advance if satellite imagery is used to monitor mutations in plants, resulting in a dramatic increase in rat population.
Scientists at the University of Utah (USA) have used satellite imagery to monitor the development of deer mice and their association with hantavirus outbreaks - respiratory infections when humans inhale. must smell urine or droppings of mice with germs.
This method allows to monitor the population of rats and the risk of disease from this species without having to go to field surveys or set traps to check.
" The satellite measures greenness on the surface of the Earth, and this greenness reflects the density of mice ," said Denise Dearing, a professor of biology at the University of Utah.
The research team used a combination of satellite images with data from thousands of deer mice captured in three years in the state.
The results showed that the number of mice trapped and the number of rats that got the disease increased rapidly when the plants grew strongly.
The study also uses a variety of methods to estimate the amount of green vegetables on a satellite-based image, to find the best way to predict the likelihood of a hantavirus outbreak.
This method can be used to predict other mouse-borne diseases, such as mouse-bite fever (acute infection caused by a spirochete transmitted from the bite of a mouse), Lyme disease (transmitted disease mice that live on mice, can cause paralysis, rheumatism and cardiovascular disease, plague, Lassa fever, salmonella infection and another group of dengue fever.