Relationship between crowding and malaria found

Researchers at Princeton University have tested the variables of crowding and weather in relation to the spread of measles by analyzing satellite images from the glow of night-time fires and electric lights.
Using satellite images taken between 2000 and 2004, Nita Bharti's team mapped dry-season increases in night-time glow in the three Niger cities of Zinder, Maradi and Niamey. The brighter periods corresponded closely to the time in which measles outbreaks occurred. A fourth city with similar weather but little seasonal migrations, Agadez, had neither an increase in glow or measles, New Scientist reports.
The light was found to exactly track the different courses of measles outbreaks in the three districts. If the health authorities in Niamey had this information at the time, they may have been able to mount a vaccination campaign sooner.
"We are working towards making this useful for real-world applications," Bharti said, according to New Scientist.
The satellite images are accessible within 48 hours.
Claude Muller, the head of the Institute of Immunology in Luxembourg, cautioned that outbreaks are affected by more than simply population density. It also matters how many people in the area are susceptible to measles.
"Increased light may not always mean an outbreak, if there aren't enough susceptibles." Muller said, according to New Scientist.
Muller said that understanding what makes measles seasonal is important and  may lead to more successful target vaccination in the quest to eradicate measles.