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Insect monitoring

The European Space Agency (ESA) published a press release that confirmed the economic and operational viability of VECMAP, a program that was launched in an experimental phase in 2009 to map the breeding grounds of disease-transmitting insects. VECMAP uses satellites and telecommunications equipment. In all, 12 institutions in nine countries in Europe tested VECMAP to produce maps that show the likelihood of the presence of mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya. “In the tests done so far, the system has helped researchers achieve greater accuracy in selecting the sites to be analyzed, thus saving time and money in the field work,” the press release states. VECMAP is a set of software and services and it includes an app for smartphones that aids researchers in field studies and provides information on the location of mosquito breeding grounds. The program works in cooperation with public health agencies in several European countries, including Belgium, Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland.