Visualization of schistosomiasis snail habitats using light unmanned aerial vehicles
Schistosomiasis, or “snail fever”, is a parasitic disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. People become infected when exposed to water containing particular species of freshwater snails. Habitats for such snails can be mapped using lightweight, inexpensive and field-deployable consumer-grade Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. Drones can obtain imagery in remote areas with poor satellite imagery. An unexpected outcome of using drones is public engagement. Whereas sampling snails exposes field technicians to infection risk and might disturb locals who are also using the water site, drones are novel and fun to watch, attracting crowds that can be educated about the infection risk.
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