World Health Day highlights serious threat of bug bites

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On World Health Day (7 April) the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights serious threat of vector-borne diseases. WHO / FILE

On World Health Day, the UN is highlighting the "serious and increasing threat" of vector-borne diseases and the need for people to shield themselves from them.

These diseases come from mosquito, tick and flea bites that infect people with viruses, parasites and bacteria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Every year, more than one billion people are infected and more than one million die from vector-borne diseases.

Raman Velayudhan, WHO Coordinator for Vector Ecology and Management is calling for a renewed focus on vector control.

“Vector borne diseases really need a much greater commitment and support from donors in order to scale up interventions and to make sure that control measures put in place can be sustained. The theme of World Health Day is “Small bite, big threat” which is very appropriate because everyone has to protect themselves from vectors when they travel or in endemic areas to protect their families and communities.”

The UN health agency says dengue fever, transmitted by the bite of a mosquito, is the world's fastest growing vector-borne disease.

It's now found in 100 countries, including China, Portugal and the state of Florida in the United States, it adds.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23”

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