World Health Day
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joins the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health partners in recognizing World Health Day, which this year spotlights vector-borne diseases.
Vector-borne diseases are bacteria, viruses, or parasites transmitted to people by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. These diseases are also frequently zoonoses, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and people. Malaria, lymphatic filariasis, dengue, and chikungunya are just a few examples of vector-borne diseases. The pathogens mosquitoes transmit sicken and kill millions of people each year. The tiny bloodsuckers, together with ticks and fleas, threaten people around the world with diseases that can be debilitating and sometimes fatal.
Vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue threaten more than half the world’s population. Now, lesser known diseases like chikungunya and Zika are moving into new areas, posing an increasing threat to travelers and for introduction into the United States and other areas where they haven’t previously been found. The mosquitoes that spread these viruses have a huge geographic range, including in parts of the United States. Though vector-borne diseases have the biggest impact on the world’s poorest people, everyone - rich and poor - is at risk for infections. Protect yourself whether abroad or at home:
- Traveling? Know your risk. Every year, millions of U.S. residents travel to countries where vector-borne diseases are spread. Many bring these diseases back into the United States. International travelers may face different vector-borne threats than are common in the United States. Learn about country specific risks and how to stay safe by visiting CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.
- Sick? If you have a fever, rash, or other symptoms; see your doctor.
- At home? Protect yourself and your family from insect and tick bites. Use insect repellents when going outside. Wear protective clothing, including long sleeve shirts and pants. Shower shortly after coming indoors to remove any ticks crawling on you.
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
"Mosquito-borne diseases pose a threat to health security, with half the world’s population at risk. As we’ve seen recently with chikungunya, mosquitoes that cause these diseases are on the move and are threatening people in new places."
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lyle R. Petersen, MD, MPH
Lyle R. Petersen, MD, MPH
"Vector-borne diseases pose a unique challenge due to the complex interactions between the bugs that spread them, animals they feed on, humans and the natural environment. CDC is working hard to learn more about each of these factors and how they work together to spread disease so we can ultimately break the cycle of transmission and help prevent these infections."
Lyle R. Petersen, MD, MPH - Director, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
- CDC Feature story: World Health Day: Vector-borne diseases
- Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country
- CDC Malaria Map Application
- Global Dengue Map
- World Health Day 2014, World Health Organization
- Chikungunya map
- Arbonet USGS
- Dengue Surveillance Weekly Report – The Dengue Surveillance Weekly Report provides current information about suspected and confirmed dengue cases in Puerto Rico every week.
- Travelers Health website
- Health Information for International Travel 2014 (the “Yellow Book”)
- CDC’s Malaria and Travelers page
- Malaria website
- Chikungunya fever
- Chikungunya: Infectious diseases related to travel (the “Yellow Book”)
- Tick-borne Diseases of the United States: A reference manual for health care providers, second edition
- Chagas website
- Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)
- National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
- Center for Global Health
- Scientific Articles
- Health Communication Materials
- Chagas blog: Protecting Americans from Chagas Disease, an Emerging Health Threat (June 2012)
- Madsen’s LF in Haiti blog:Haiti is Saying Goodbye to Lymphatic Filariasis, In Spite of Earthquake (June 2013)
- Oncho blog: Plight to Save Sight: Eliminating the Scourge of River Blindness (May 2013)
- Malaria blog: Accelerating Up the Hill: Maintaining Malaria Progress
- Lymphatic Filariasis - Indumati’s Story
- Dengue: The Reality of an Outbreak Investigation: Dengue in Angola
Other Image Galleries
- T. cruzi image gallery on DPDx: http://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/trypanosomiasisAmerican/gallery.html
- (LF) W. bancrofti image gallery on DPDx: http://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/lymphaticFilariasis/gallery.html
- (Oncho) O. volvulus image gallery on DPDx: http://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/onchocerciasis/gallery.html
- Page last reviewed: April 7, 2014
- Page last updated: April 7, 2014
- Content source: