Commentary: Preparing for Future Arthropod-, Vector-Borne Diseases

Better surveillance and monitoring of tick and insect populations is needed to establish the range and distribution of the various species with potential to serve as vectors of known mosquito- and tick-borne equine diseases.
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vector-borne diseases
Better surveillance and monitoring of tick and insect populations is needed to establish the range and distribution of the various species with potential to serve as competent vectors of known mosquito- and tick-borne equine diseases. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Marianne Sloet

Vector or arthropod-borne diseases represent some of the most significant threats to human and animal health in certain regions/countries of the world. An ever-increasing number have spread beyond historically defined boundaries, in no small part as a result of continued expansion in international trade of live animals or animal products and because of global climate change.

The worldwide spread of two human pathogens—Chikungunya and Zika viruses—from the African continent in recent years illustrates the major difficulties confronting the global community in containing these and other arthropod-borne diseases.

Within the realm of infectious diseases, it is more relevant in today’s world to consider populations of humans and animals in different countries as co-existing in a global context, blurring the boundaries and reach of national political interests. We have, in essence, become an international community in which social media play a major role in communicating information across a spectrum of issues, including disease events

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