Many national and global health organizations closely monitor the appearance and distribution of human health risks due to bacterial and viral infections. Maps and other geographic content have been an important tool in describing the distribution of disease and aiding in appropriate response.
Interactive maps available to anyone are the newest geographic content tools being used by many health organizations to provide disease distribution data to the public at the global, national, regional and local level. These interactive maps provide valuable data to the public describing emerging health risks.
In 2014, the Chikungunya mosquito-borne virus spread to the Caribbean and the United States at an unprecedented level. Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms of Chikungunya may include fever and joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Joint pain may persist with some people for months after infection. There is no medicinal treatment for this disease. Following the link above will reveal links to several interactive maps that illustrate confirmed Chikungunya illness globally.
The year 2014 also brought a lot of news regarding an Ebola virus outbreak that affected several countries. This Story Map highlights various outbreaks of the Ebola virus over the past 38 years. Historical infection data was used to create these maps to help provide spatial context to Ebola virus distribution globally. Many interactive maps provide tools to filter map data to specific diseases and date ranges to provide a more appropriate understanding of disease distribution.
The Center for Disease Control provides a simple and informative interactive map series to display distribution of confirmed West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Dengue, and Chikungunya cases in the United States. These mosquito-borne illnesses are a threat to public health in the United States and around the world and bear a tremendous negative economic impact.
Many public health agencies have implemented interactive mapping technology to visualize and share data with collaborating agencies and the public. This technology is proving to be a very valuable operational tool. Perhaps it is time to evaluate how interactive mapping technology may benefit your organization and the people that you serve too. Electronic Data Solutions provides many professional services to assist organizations with implementing dynamic interactive map technology.