Vector borne diseases

September 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: USA

Purdue University?s entomology department recently unveiled a website providing information to health officials, educators and the general public about diseases such as West Nile virus and the insects and ticks that are vectors of these diseases.

A vector is an insect, tick, rodent or arthropod capable of transmitting a disease to humans or animals.

?For example, a female mosquito can acquire West Nile virus when feeding on an infected bird and subsequently pass the virus to a human or horse,? said Catherine Hill, an assistant professor of entomology.

?Generally, adult mosquitoes will be active until the first hard freeze, so we still need to be vigilant,? she said. ?Given the increase in human cases of West Nile virus, we are encouraging people to take steps to prevent being bitten by infected mosquitoes.?

The website provides a ?one-stop shop? for reliable information regarding diseases and the insects that carry them, Hill said.

The site provides information on preventing vector-borne diseases and the major groups of vectors that carry them, such as mosquitoes, ticks, lice and fleas. The site also covers bedbugs and stinging insects. It includes a glossary, diagrams and full-colour pictures of important insects and ticks.

The website was created as a part of a public health entomology programme developed at Purdue.

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