Vector-Borne Diseases

Vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, triatomines, ticks, and many others. Every year there are more than 700,000 deaths globally from diseases such as malaria, dengue, Chagas disease, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis. The major vector-borne diseases, together, account for nearly a fifth of all infectious diseases. The burden of these diseases is highest in tropical and subtropical areas and they disproportionately affect the poorest populations.

Recent major outbreaks of dengue, malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika virus have affected populations, claimed lives and overwhelmed health systems across many countries. These diseases represent a challenge for the health systems, since it requires the improvement of clinical and laboratory diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance, and vector control to prevent the transmission of diseases, and avoid serious global consequences.

Significant collaboration is needed to strengthen and develop the capacity of health systems to prevent, control and eliminate vector transmission diseases, further response to outbreaks and epidemics. Support activities should be aimed at strengthening public health entomology, including training of human resources and national programs; evaluation of new technologies; and the management of insecticide resistance, among others.