Disease incidence data are often gathered at spatial and temporal scales that are coarse relative to scales considered by quantitative epidemiological models of host-pathogen systems Observed data often suffer from incomplete reporting, imperfect diagnosis, measurement error and other biases. Despite these challenges, quantifying the burden of disease is a critical first step to the development of appropriate interventions and the evaluation of the impact of those interventions.
At CIDD we are committed to trying to understand the distribution of infectious disease around the globe. CIDD researchers have developed methods that are currently employed by the World Health Organization to estimate the global burden of disease and mortality due to measles. These methods are used annual to calculate the unobserved number of childhood deaths due to measles and the potential lives saved by increased investments in childhood vaccination. PlantVillage, which was developed at CIDD, has put technology for diagnosing plant disease using artificial intelligence in the hands of small holder farmers around the world, and is collecting data on both the distribution of plant pathogens and the performance of interventions to mitigate crop losses.