Dengue fever is transmitted mainly by the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, which breeds in water-filled containers in tropical urban areas. In this study medium- and high-resolution satellite (ASTER and QuickBird) imagery were used to map tree cover and built-up surfaces in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, where dengue fever has been endemic since 1993. Hard and soft image classification algorithms were used to generate these variables, which were analysed with respect to vector habitat distribution as measured by the potential mosquito habitats during the wet season of 2006. A multiple linear regression model revealed that built-up surfaces derived from ASTER imagery explained 63.6% of the variance in the number of larval habitats found during the wet season when transmission and incidence of dengue were highest. The results suggest that elements of urban structure such as built-up surfaces may be used to predict the presence of an important disease vector within urban areas and that medium-resolution satellite imagery may help to inform future prevention and control strategies in Costa Rica and other countries where dengue fever is endemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)