Preparing the Nation to Prevent and Respond to Vector-Borne Disease Threats

Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea. These can be vectors for spreading pathogens (germs). A person who is bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea vector and gets sick has a vector-borne disease, like dengue, Zika, Lyme, or plague. Between 2004 and 2017, more than 708,000 cases of these diseases were reported, and nine new germs spread by bites from infected mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced. In 2017, a new tick was discovered in the United States. The threat is growing, and, as a nation, we are not fully prepared.

As the backbone of our nation’s public health system, state, local, and territorial health departments are on the frontlines when it comes to preparing for and responding to outbreaks. CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) supports health departments and public health partners in building and strengthening their abilities to track, report, control, and prevent vector-borne diseases.

Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) funding for vector-borne diseases

CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) cooperative agreement provides funding to state, local, and territorial health departments to battle infectious disease threats in the United States. The goal of ELC vector-borne disease funding is to reduce the overall risk and number of people getting vector-borne diseases.  Each year, ELC recipients can request funds to support the vector control needs specific to their state, local area, or territory.

Funds are used to train or hire health department personnel to identify, report, prevent, and respond to vector-borne diseases and outbreaks. This work is a collaboration between healthcare providers, vector control agencies, decision-makers, and the public.