About the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases
The Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) strives to protect the nation from bacterial and viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Some of these diseases have long been present in the United States while others have recently emerged. These include some of the world's most destructive diseases, many of which are increasing threats to human health as the environment changes and globalization increases. CDC/DVBD plays a unique role, housing much of the world’s expertise in the diagnosis, prevention and control of these diseases.
Chikungunya Hits U.S. Mainland
The first locally acquired cases of chikungunya were reported in Florida on July 17, 2014. These cases represent the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to non-travelers. Though CDC does not expect widespread cases this year, American travelers infected overseas may continue to return and bring the virus with them. For updates on locally acquired and travel associated chikungunya cases, visit CDC’s chikungunya website.
Chikungunya is a viral disease spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
Vector-Borne Diseases - At a Glance
Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: Spread by mosquitoes, dengue viruses infect up to 100 million people annually. Puerto Rico experienced its largest outbreak in 2010 and Florida has reported local cases for the first time in 75 years. DVBD is working to advance diagnostics, improve patient survival, find new methods of mosquito control and develop innovative vaccines. Read CDC's Dengue Update for more.
Lyme and other tick-borne diseases: Tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are serious public health problems, infecting tens of thousands in the U.S. each year. CDC is working closely with local communities, developing innovative control approaches and researching improved diagnostics.
West Nile and other mosquito-borne viruses: West Nile virus swept across the U.S. in less than 10 years, causing over 12,700 cases of severe disease. CDC leads ArboNET, an innovative system to monitor mosquito-borne infections in humans, mosquitoes, birds and other animals. This information allows CDC And states to quickly respond, preventing further cases. CDC and its partners implemented screening of the U.S. blood supply for WNV, preventing 3,000-9,000 transfusion-transmitted infections.
Innovation: DVBD scientists have developed innovative candidate vaccines against dengue and West Nile viruses, including the first DNA vaccine ever to be licensed. We are collaborating with industry to bring to market novel insecticides derived from natural products, and are developing new tools to reduce ticks and mosquitoes that spread disease.
Responding to new and old threats: DVBD scientists are working to reduce the impact of plague, an ancient disease, in the U.S. and in Uganda. On the other hand, we are preparing for emerging epidemics, like chikungunya virus, which spread rapidly throughout the Indian Ocean to Europe. On average, 2 new mosquito-transmitted viruses infective to humans are found each year.
Crab Hole Mosquito Blues - The Song
This podcast is a song about a major epizoodemic of a serious human and equine disease written and performed by the MARU Health Angels Band.
Prevent Lyme Disease/Spring and Summer PSA
This 30-second PSA explains how to prevent and recognize early symptoms of Lyme disease.
Get Ticks Off
(A Cup of Health with CDC)
People planning outdoor activities this summer should be on the look out for ticks. Ticks carry diseases such as Tularemia and Lyme disease.
What We Do, Where We Do It, and Why: Color Brochure
Vector-borne diseases are among the most complex of all infectious diseases to prevent and control. DVBD combines specialized epidemiology, ecology and laboratory expertise to respond to the challenges presented by vector-borne infectious diseases.
Read our two-page brochure about what we do, where we do it, and why. [PDF - 2 pages]