Track Mosquitoes Together With Your Smartphone

The annoyance of mosquito bites, combined with the serious risk they pose as vectors of infectious diseases, led me to wonder what could be done. Mosquito management requires active citizen engagement monitor standing water, open containers, and remove litter. I remembered reading in regards to the brigadistas in Nicaragua, a public well being group and marketing campaign that teaching community leaders to work with their neighbors to get rid of mosquito breeding habitats (the brigadistas produced graphics, such because the one here). When the Earth Institute put out a request for proposals for smartphone applications to have interaction citizen scientists, I pulled together my concepts for an app to report mosquito exercise and utilized with Professor Jeffrey Shaman and PhD scholar Eliza Little.

Once funded, Eliza tapped the proficient Matt Brennan to implement our imaginative and prescient. We created a smartphone software referred to as Bitebytes as software for residents to report mosquito exercise. Community participation using the smartphone app can help supplement costly mosquito trapping. Crowd-sourced mosquito identification may be an extra supply of information for monitoring and forecasting mosquito abundance anyplace that consumer engagement is high. Data generated from the app would enable cities to focus on key areas to reduce mosquito abundance and thus control the potential for the unfold of mosquito-borne diseases. In addition to gathering data and enhancing the city mosquito-monitoring network, the app can be used to educate the public on mosquitoes, the diseases mosquitoes transmit, and mosquito habitat control.

We hope individuals will really feel empowered by reporting mosquitoes and contributing to information collection in their city or county. Now you can download Bitebytes free from iTunes; we hope to make an Android version sooner or later. In the primary screen, choose the mosquito that almost all resembles the one bothering you or select unknown.

Next, you’ll be able to add more data. There shall be a heat map exhibiting all reporting activity, and details about mosquitoes in the northeastern U.S. Reports from the app will even be out there on the Bitebytes website. The more mosquitoes you report, the extra-standing you accrue within Bitebytes; for example, it’s possible you’ll even be crowned the “Duke” of Central Park! User-generated digital information streams are more and more included into fashions of infectious diseases.

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Many person-generated information streams of infectious diseases are passive (via Twitter posts or Wikipedia searches); here citizens will need to download an app onto their smartphone and actively use it. Citizen monitoring for mosquitoes can be efficiently applied, nonetheless, and different mobile application reporting programs have been utilized in Nicaragua and Brazil, Europe, and Canada. With public awareness of mosquito vectors and participation to decrease the quantity of those vectors, we will counter the public health risks of mosquito-borne diseases, to bettering residents’ high quality of life and use of parks.

Given the heightened consciousness of mosquito-borne diseases as a result of Zika outbreak, public uptake is prone to be excessive. Along with Eliza, Matt, and Jeff, we’re excited to make use of the Bitebytes platform to engage with finish customers, both in vector management and the general public, on issues relating to surveillance, risk of infectious illness and education. Josefina Coloma et al.

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