Pest-ilent problems

About half the world’s population are at risk of vector-borne diseases.

A VECTOR is an organism that transmits infectious organisms – bacteria, viruses and parasites – from a host to humans and other animals.

The common vectors are blood-feeding arthropods, which are invertebrate animals with an external skeleton (exoskeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Vectors of infections in humans include mosquitoes, ticks, mites and fleas.

About half the world’s population are at risk of vector-borne diseases. Increased travel, migration and trade have aggravated the risk.

According to the World Health Organisa-tion, vector-borne diseases account for 17% of all infectious diseases worldwide.

Vector-borne diseases are difficult to predict, prevent or control. These diseases can lead to serious illness and death.

It is pertinent to note that although infectious diseases comprised 6.82% of admissions to the Health Ministry’s hospitals in 2012, they were the cause of 17.17% of deaths.

Common vector-borne diseases

The prevalent vector-borne diseases in Malaysia are dengue, malaria and Japanese encephalitis.

by Dr Milton Lum.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/The-Doctor-Says/Profile/Articles/2014/03/30/Pestilent-problems/

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