Vectors are responsible for causing more than 17% of infectious diseases every year, in essence, more than 700,000 people die of diseases transmitted by vectors annually.
Unfortunately, malaria causes more than 400,000 deaths every year all over the world, and most victims are children under the age of five. Over 3.9 billion people in over 12 countries are susceptible to dengue, with 96 million severe cases estimated per year. Leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease affect hundreds of millions of people globally.
Nonetheless, we can prevent these diseases through informed protective measures.
What are the major vectors and the diseases they transmit?
First, vectors are living organisms, which transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animals to humans. Majority of these vectors are bloodsucking pests that ingest disease-producing microorganisms during feeding from an infected host and later inject into a new host during a subsequent blood meal.
Furthermore, mosquitoes are one of the primary vectors that transmit diseases. Ticks, sand flies, fleas, flies, triatomine bugs, and some freshwater aquatic snails are also vectors. This is the reason you need to protect your home against these pesky pests. One of the ways to successfully proof your home is to hire a professional pest control operator near you.
What are Vector-borne Diseases?
These diseases are human illnesses caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are transmitted by vectors such as black flies, lice, mites, mosquitoes, freshwater aquatic snails, sand flies, ticks, triatomine bugs, and tsetse flies. Furthermore, there are more than 700,000 deaths every year because of vector-borne diseases such as Chagas, dengue, human African trypanosomiasis, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, yellow fever all over the world.
In addition, the major vector-borne diseases are responsible for the death of 17% due to infectious diseases. The effects of these diseases are seen mainly in the tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Also, the most impoverished populations are mostly infected by these diseases.
Furthermore, significant outbreaks of chikungunya yellow fever and Zika have afflicted populations, claimed lives and overpowered the health systems in many of these countries.
The complexity of the demographic, environmental, and social factors are all determinants of the distribution of vector-borne diseases.
Environmental challenges like climate change, unplanned urbanization and global travel and trade have an impact of pathogen transmission, also making transmission season longer or more intense or causing diseases to emerge in countries where they were previously not known. Moreover, changes in agricultural practices due to changes in rainfall and temperature can affect the transmission of vector-borne diseases. The lack of reliable piped water, solid waste management, and the growth of urban slums can put large populations in cities and towns at risk of viral diseases spread by mosquitoes. Besides, these factors determine the reach of vector populations and the transmission patterns of pathogens causing these diseases. Some of the diseases transmitted by vectors include:
- Schistosomiasis (bilharziasis)
- Onchocerciasis (river blindness)
- Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans)
- Typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever
- Dengue fever
- Japanese encephalitis
- Lymphatic filariasis
- Rift Valley fever
- West Nile fever
- Yellow fever
- Sandfly fever (phlebotomus fever)
- Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
- Lyme disease
- Relapsing fever (borreliosis)
- Rickettsial diseases (spotted fever and Q fever)
- Tick-borne encephalitis
- Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)
- Tsetse Flies
- Sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis)