Satellite control

Published: Monday 15 July 2002

There is emerging hope that the incidence of cholera might be reduced due to early warning signals emitted by satellite images. Under a new project, the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (niced) -- in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation -- is developing a unique system of forecasting possible outbreak of the dreaded disease. The project uses the correlation between plankton bloom and outbreak of cholera in the coastal belt of India to predict a possible outbreak. The early warning system will help the local administration to gear up its health services and take preven-tive measures. niced director Sujit Bhattacharya said that research indicated a definite link between plankton bloom in the coastal areas and the occurrence of the disease as satellite pictures were matched with the data collected on cholera for the last few years. Scientists say there is a gap of 15 to 30 days between a visible plankton bloom and spread of cholera in adjoining areas.

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