Forecasting Lyme Cases in Southern Maine using Satellite Data

Project Partner: NASA DEVELOP Boston Node, Summer 2019

Project SummaryTwice in the last decade, Maine has reported the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Lyme disease is treatable when detected, but can have severe health effects when left untreated. However, our current predictive understanding is at national, regional, or county-scale resolution; in contrast to evidence that the majority of infections happen locally. Tess worked with NASA DEVELOP’s Boston node to forecast annual Lyme disease cases at the town level using satellite data. They found that temperature had more predictive power than humidity, and that there was a lot of variation between towns. This work helps test assumption rates of reporting lyme disease and informs monitoring and prevention efforts.

Adult female deer tick (Credit: Griffin Dill)

Project DeliverablesPresented a poster at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference in 2019, including maps of temperature effects and infection probability vs. detection probability. See below, or download pdf here.

Tess McCabe’s Poster Presentation at AGU 2019