Vector-borne diseases are diseases that are transmitted by, for example, an insect (the vector) from one animal to another, or to a human. Midges, mosquitos and ticks are examples of a vector. These diseases are becoming more frequent in the Netherlands and Europe.
Increasing likelihood of spread
The majority of animal diseases that occur in the Netherlands are spread directly from one animal to another. But other diseases are becoming more widespread. Diseases and insects that previously only occurred in the tropics and subtropics are steadily moving northward and therefore towards the Netherlands. Global warming means that pathogens and insects can survive in areas that were previously too cold. In addition, people, animals and goods travel all over the globe, giving diseases and insects a free ride unnoticed. This increases the likelihood of spreading animal diseases.
Examples of vector-borne diseases
Focus on prevention
Diseases that are transmitted by insects call for a specific control strategy. Culling contaminated animals contains the disease, but does not eradicate it. The best control method is disease prevention. This involves, among other things, a strict check on the import of animals, knowledge of where the diseases occur and the development and application of diagnostics and vaccines.
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