Tracking disease outbreaks

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Abstract

Scientists have come one step closer to tracking outbreaks of bartonellosis, a potentially fatal vector-borne disease. Outbreaks of the disease, which was once thought to be found primarily in the high Andes Mountains of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, may be related to El Ni˜no events, according to researchers with NASA and the U.S. military.

In findings reported on 17 January, climatology and disease prevention researchers said a study conducted in two regions in Peru points to a strong potential link between the 1997–1998 El Niño and an increase in sand flies, which are thought to be the disease host carriers.

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