Growing threat of vector-borne diseases

Growing threat of vector-borne diseases

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emerging vector-borne diseases pose a growing threat to the health of the population in the US. Dr Ronald Rosenberg led a team of researchers who studied almost 650,000 cases between 2004 and 2016, finding that in that time, mosquito-borne disease epidemics were happening more frequently. In total, there were over 640,000 reported cases of 16 diseases, and diseases caused by mosquitoes, fleas, and tick bites had more than tripled; 77 per cent of these cases were caused by ticks. “These data indicate persistent, locality-specific risks and a rising threat from emerging vector-borne diseases, which have increasingly encumbered local and state health departments tasked with preventing, detecting, reporting, and controlling them,” said the CDC authors.

The report was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and suggests that vector-borne diseases are a large and growing public health problem in the US, which are characterised by geographic specificity and frequent pathogen emergence and introduction.

It concluded that major national improvement of surveillance, diagnostics, reporting, and vector control, as well as new tools such as vaccines, are needed to effectively reduce transmission and respond to outbreaks.

You can view the report here.