Hantavirus Cycle
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Hantavirus Cycle

July 27, 2010
Contact with rodents and their waste puts humans at risk for exposure to hantavirus. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare but deadly respiratory disease caused by exposure to a variety of hantaviruses.

But National Science Foundation-supported researchers have found that they can forecast the location and extent of an infectious disease outbreak using analysis of satellite imagery. To do this, researchers first examine satellite images--which provide information on vegetation growth, soil moisture and other ecological conditions--then calculate the level of risk for a region and for specific areas within the region. The study demonstrates that ecological research can lead to a better understanding of the complex factors in hantavirus outbreaks, and in predictions that result in saving human lives.

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