A method using remotely sensed data was developed to map the incidence of Q fever in the vicinity of Cayenne, French Guiana.
A satellite image was processed to map land cover and generate a population density index, which was used to determine areas of high disease incidence during the 1996–2000 period.
A comparison with results obtained using population census data showed strong concordance between the two incidence maps. All high-incidence areas identified using population census data were also detected using remotely sensed data.
This demonstrates the potential of remote sensing as a new tool for rapid mapping of disease incidence in epidemiologic surveys.