Infectious viruses to be tracked by satellite in UAE
Dubai, February 27, 2014
The prevention and tracking of infectious viruses was one of the topics discussed in a meeting between top Emirati and French officials, said a report.
Issa Al Maidoor, director general of the Dubai Health Authority and Olivier Lyon, medical advisor to the French President discussed the methods of co-operation between the countries including tracking of viruses through a satellite, said the Peninsula report.
"The French Government will spare no effort to work with the Dubai government to follow and trail infectious viruses so as to prevent outbreaks and track viruses via satellites so that we can effectively deal with them," Lyon was quoted as saying.
The satellite tracking of viruses has become a preferred method of virus monitoring in various countries, said the report.
It was adopted by Nasa in an attempt to follow the West Nile virus. Through satellite imagery, researchers identified features that could stimulate the existence and spread of the virus, such as patterns of vegetation, rainfall and land-surface temperatures, it said.
With regard to viral exchange, it is important to begin building the infrastructure and research facilities to tackle infectious viruses, said Lyon.
The spread of infectious diseases is on the increase with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (Mers-CoV) causing concern among health care workers and policy makers, besides chicken-pox, hand to mouth diseases, and food and water borne diseases, said the report.
The increase in prevalence of many infectious diseases together with the on-going evolution of viral and microbial variants, and selection for drug resistance, suggests that infections will continue to emerge, and probably increase, it said.
This emphasises the urgent need for effective surveillance and control in the region, it added.