World Health Day 2014 – Vector-borne diseases

7 April 2014

New vector-borne diseases are emerging in the WHO European Region and diseases considered to have been eliminated are returning. Population movement, ecological, climatic and environmental changes, the deterioration of political and socioeconomic situations, and the interruption of action to prevent and control transmission are central to this renewed public health problem.

A stark example of this is the recent unexpected resurgence of malaria in countries and areas from which it had disappeared. The incidence and distribution of diseases, such as leishmaniasis, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease and Chagas disease are increasing in the Region.

The recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and West Nile virus in countries where these diseases had not occurred before signal the potential threats associated with travel and trade, and with possible environmental and climatic changes.

World Health Day 2014 is a key opportunity to engage governments and the people – with special emphasis on people on the move - in protecting health from this resurging threat.