Key messages - Vector-borne diseases

Key messages
  1. Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes or ticks that can carry pathogens from person to person and place to place.
  2. Personal prevention measures and vector surveillance and control at country level are key to prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.
  3. ECDC evaluates the risk to the EU of emerging vector-borne diseases by issuing risk assessments on outbreaks occurring in Europe or EU overseas territories. It also implements regular surveillance on vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile fever and tick-borne encephalitis.
  4. Vector-borne diseases rely upon organisms, named vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks or sandflies that have an active role in the transmission of a pathogen from one host to the other.
  5. Many factors may facilitate the introduction and establishment of disease vectors, reservoirs or pathogens in new geographic areas and could lead to the emergence of a disease in Europe: international travel and trade, e.g. legal and illegal trade in animals and animal products, new agricultural practices and land-use patterns, socio-demographic evolution and climatic changes.
  6. Climate change, international trade and travel influence the distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe.
  7. International trade and travel are the main factors that might drive the emergence of ‘tropical’/emerging diseases in Europe.
  8. Climate change can influence the establishment and transmission of new pathogens and vectors.