Vector Borne Diseases

What is a Vector-borne disease?

Vector Borne diseases are the illness caused by the vectors. A vector is a carrier of the causative microbe for various diseases such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. The reproduction rates of vectors are influenced by climate and weather. Such diseases are widespread and found throughout the world.

More than 700,000 patients die of vector-borne diseases. The major vector-borne diseases constitute about 17% of the infectious diseases in the world. The poorest populations of the tropical and the sub-tropical regions are highly affected by such diseases. Malaria is perhaps the best-known vector-borne diseases in the world. Let us have a look at the different vectors and the diseases spread by them.

Also read: Diseases

Types of Disease Vectors

Vectors Diseases Causative organisms
Chikungunya Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)
Dengue Dengue virus (DENV)
Zika fever Zika virus
Yellow fever Yellow fever virus
Filariasis Filarioidea
Rift Valley fever Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV)
Malaria Plasmodium
West Nile fever West Nile Virus
Tse-tse Flies African trypanosomiasis Trypanosoma brucei
Typhus Rickettsia prowazekii
Louse-borne relapsing fever Borrelia recurrentis
Leishmaniasis Leishmania
Phlebotomus fever Phlebovirus
Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi
Tick-borne encephalitis
Tick-borne encephalitis virus
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever Nairovirus
Relapsing fever Borrelia
Rickettsial disease Rickettsia
Tularaemia Francisella tularensis

Vector-borne Diseases in India

Around 2 million malaria cases are recorded every year in India. Most of the rural areas in the country are prone to Malaria. The regions of Orrisa, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chattisgarh have many cases of malaria every year. The World Bank Supported Vector-borne disease Control Project to be implemented in most of the endemic states. It will help the Government to prevent and treat malaria in the poorest regions. This project uses advanced technologies and medicines for the prevention of Malaria.

Prevention of Vector-borne Diseases

Vector-Borne diseases can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Vaccines should be developed for protection against disease-causing viruses.

  • Insect repellants such as DEET or Permethrin can be applied to the skin and clothes respectively.

  • Tick checks should be performed after exposure to dogs, cats, cattle, and mice.

  • Use nets while sleeping to protect against mosquitoes.

  • Wash and dry clothes after an outdoor visit for a long time.

  • Remove leaf litters and woodpiles from the surroundings.

  • Do not let stagnant water accumulate in the surroundings.

  • Use disinfectants to control infections caused by pests.

National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme

The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is an umbrella organisation for the prevention and control of the following six vector borne diseases – malaria, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, kala – azar and lymphatic filariasis. The agency is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The directorate of the NVBDCP provides the states with cash and commodities to implement policies for curbing these diseases. 

This body is one of the wings under the Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India. It has technical advisors and experts in the field of parasitology, entomology and public health. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a vector?

A vector is any pathogen that carries and transmits any infectious agent into other living organisms. These vectors may be parasites or other microbes.


Name the most common vector-borne diseases.

Malaria and Dengue fever are the two most common vector-borne diseases.


Name the diseases spread by vectors.

The diseases spread by vectors are:
Malaria, dengue, zika fever, yellow fever, rickettsial disease, Leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis, filariasis, etc.


What is a vector control drive for mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes can be controlled by reducing the number of breeding sites, Remove algae from the ponds and using a mosquito repellent



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