Background: Due to the success of the national schistosomiasis control programme in China, transmission has been sufficiently reduced in many areas to severely limit identification of areas at risk by conventional snail surveys only. In this study, we imported Google Earth technology and a Global Positioning System (GPS) into the monitoring system for schistosomiasis surveillance of the banks of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China. Methods. A total of 45 sites were selected and the risk was assessed monthly by water exposure of sentinel mice at these sites from May to September in 2009 and 2010. The results were assembled and broadcast via the Google Earth platform. Results: The intensity of schistosomiasis transmission showed peaks of risk in June and September of 2009, while there was only one small peak in June in 2010 as the number of detected positive transmission sites dropped dramatically that year thanks to improved mollusciciding. River ports were found to be areas of particular risk, but ferry terminals and other centres of river-related activities were also problematic. Conclusions: The results confirm that the surveillance system can be rapidly updated and easily maintained, which proves the Google Earth approach to be a user-friendly, inexpensive warning system for schistosomiasis risk. © 2011 Sun et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Sun, L. P., Liang, Y. S., Wu, H. H., Tian, Z. X., Dai, J. R., Yang, K., … Yang, G. J. (2011). A Google Earth-based surveillance system for schistosomiasis japonica implemented in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China. Parasites and Vectors, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-4-223