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Taiwan Fights Dengue Fever with Data

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 11 2013

Mosquito (Wikimedia Commons).

The Center for Disease Control in Taiwan has implemented a geolocational initiative for response to an outbreak of dengue fever. An unusually high number of cases this year prompted the agency to combine its Epidemic Situation Management system with GIS technology. FutureGov reports that the new system will aid Taiwan’s CDC in formulating a course of action to combat new outbreaks:

The system gives the CDC personnel geographically-referenced information on critical areas where dengue fever incidents are occurring. In addition, the personnel are able to detect epidemic situations instantly by browsing a comprehensive district map which enables them to clearly distinguish whether the dengue fever is primarily caused by vector mosquito habitats.

By performing a kind of data triage, the new system will inform decision-making and improve practices around treatment and emergency response. Though dengue fever cases were on the decline in December after reaching a high earlier this fall, the Taiwanese CDC aims to curb the advent of new cases with these new practices. The initiative follows the implementation of similar GIS-based health systems in Japan, where GIS also has been used to map disease outbreaks,and Thailand, where it has been used to send healthcare practitioners to underserved regions.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

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