Starting from today, people from all over the world will have the chance to report cases of the disease in their area and get tailored advice on how to avoid infection thanks to a crowd-sourced initiative.
Dengue fever is a viral disease spread only by certain mosquitoes, which are common in tropical areas around the world.
Towns in north Queensland Australia are prone to outbreaks of dengue when the virus is brought in by travellers.
Although outbreaks are rare in Australia, dengue is not and is a potentially fatal disease that infects 390 million people per year at an annual global cost of US$8.89 billion.
The World Health Organisation estimates that about 40% of the global population lives in highrisk areas.
The Dengue track initiative uses a user-friendly online chat system, to build a crowdsourced map of dengue outbreak.
Users – known as Dengue Trackers – can access free toolkits to help them reduce their risk of dengue fever while providing details of outbreaks.
Nicholas Brooke, executive director of Break Denague said “This innovative crowdsourced disease surveillance tool is a gamechanger in the fight against dengue. Its interactive chat system is highly innovative and userfriendly.“
Dengue Track is unique. It collects an unprecedented volume of data by adding crowd surveillance and data from social media and search engines to existing official data. This variety of sources offers a 360˚ view of the disease.
“Not only that, but it does it fast,” says Brooke, “The velocity of data collection and processing allows for modelling and targeted alert systems in close to real time. And, perhaps most importantly, this multilayered approach delivers veracity. The model is more accurate because the volume and variety of data sources helps to correct errors that may arise in any individual source.”
“We need to mobilise an army of dengue trackers if we are to meet our shared goal of reducing the burden of dengue fever.” .
Users are invited to become trackers are encouraged to embed Dengue Track on their websites.
Dengue Track can be found here: https://www.breakdengue.org/dengue-track/