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OCCURENCE OF VECTOR-BORNE
DISEASES ON THE RISE

What are Vector-borne diseases and what does this mean to you? Many people have never heard the term Vector-borne, however, most people at one time or another have heard of the diseases. Some of the common ones include: Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Plague. Some of the newly emerging ones are: West Nile Virus, Equine Encephalitis and Lyme disease.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vector-borne infectious diseases are emerging and resurging as a result of changes in public health policy, insecticide and drug resistance, shift in emphasis from prevention to emergency response, demographic and societal changes, and genetic changes in pathogens.

Major global demographic and societal changes of the past 50 yearshave directly affected the emergence/resurgence of vector-borne diseases.Population growth, mostly in developing countries, resulted in major movements ofpeople, primarily to urban centers. This urbanization produced ideal conditions for increased transmission of insect-borne diseases. Consumer products in non-biodegradable plastics, cellophane and tin products are discardedin places where they collect rainwater; these and discarded automobile tires,make ideal mosquito breeding places. Most of the world's population growth in the next 25 years will occur in the urban centers of developing countries, many ofthem in tropical areas where vector-borne diseases occur most frequently. In addition, the increasing mobilization of people, primarily via airtravel, provides the ideal mechanism for transporting diseases between population centers.The result is a constant movement of viruses, bacteria, and parasites among cities, countries, regions, and continents.

This year is forecast to be one of the worst for the resurgence of Vector-borne diseases. Dengue fever has already killed hundreds of people in Brazil and infected a great many more, it is predicted to make a resurgence inthis country. Even before Spring, West Nile Virus was detected in sentinelchickens in several Florida counties and is expected to be more widespread in the US this year than in any previous year.

It is important that we all work to help stop the spread of thesediseases. It is equally important that we protect ourselves and our love dones from them. The very young, very old and persons with compromised immunesystems are most at risk. Fortunately today we have more knowledge of how these diseases are transmitted and more options involving personal protection that at anytime in the past. Be wary; stay tuned to news reports about break-outs in your area. When Vector-borne diseases are present, stay in whenever practical or wear protective clothing. When these precautions are not practical take advantage of one, or several, of todayís very good insect repellent or terminating solutions.

Itís never too early, start planning your repellent strategiestoday!


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