New research on meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa shows that monitoring wind and dust conditions early in the dry season could be used to predict incidence of the disease. The results, published in Environmental Health Perspectives by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, also hold promise for developing vaccination strategies to prevent meningitis outbreaks, which can devastate local communities and overwhelm public health systems. An epidemic in 1996-1997, for example, killed 25,000 people.
The video below summarizes this new research. Read more about the work and its implications on the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s web site.