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World Health Day 2014

Vector-borne diseases were the focus of World Health Day 2014, which took place on 7 April. In partnership with The WHO Regional Office for Europe and EFSA, ECDC is this year working to raise awareness both of the diseases and of vectors. Dengue, West Nile fever and tick-borne encephalitis are just some of the diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks.
Vector-borne diseases are a global public health threat. A number of factors, such as increased international travel and trade, as well as climate change, influence the public health threat to Europe posed by these diseases.
ECDC undertakes numerous surveillance activities to monitor the impact and spread of vector-borne diseases in Europe. Disease surveillance activities and vector distribution data collection are carried out in order to tackle the challenges posed to public health in Europe by vector-borne diseases.
An editorial in the Eurosurveillance journal offers more details of the public health threat to Europe posed by emerging and vector-borne diseases.


Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes or ticks that can carry pathogens from person to person and place to place.
Different species of vectors can carry different diseases.
Vector presence is a prerequisite for the potential transmission of the pathogen, but is not the only factor necessary for transmission to occur.
ECDC vector distribution maps provide the most up-to-date data on the occurrence of vectors in Europe.
Personal prevention measures and vector surveillance and control at country level are key to prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.
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.


Invasive mosquitoes
Aedes aegypti Aedes albopictus can be a vector for dengue, chikungunya
Aedes aegypti​  can also transmit yellow fever.
​Local mosquitoes
Anopholes sarcovi

Anopheles labranchiae and Anopheles sacharovi mosquitoes can transmit malaria.

​ ​Ticks

Hyalomma marginatum


Ixodes ricinus

Hyalomma marginatum: Vector for ​Crimean congo haemorrhagic fever, viral haemorrhagic fevers.

Ixodes ricinus: Vector for borreliosis, rickettsiosis, tick-borne encephalitis.






​Invasive mosquitoes are determined by their ability to colonize new territories. They can cause harm to the economy, the environment or human health. A considerable increase in the spread of invasive mosquitoes has been observed in Europe since the late 1990s.


Climate change, international trade and travel influence the distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe.
International trade and travel are the main factors that might drive the emergence of ‘tropical’/emerging diseases in Europe.
Climate change can influence the establishment and transmission of new pathogens and vectors.


​During the mosquito transmission season, ECDC produces weekly maps showing areas affected by West Nile fever.







​European Environment and Epidemiology Network (E3) Geoportal: A tool for collecting environmental and climatic data to predict the environmental suitability for vector-borne disease transmission in Europe.

© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 2005 - 2017