Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

World Health Day: Small Bites and Big Threats

Health + Wellness

Today is World Health Day, which is celebrated on April 7 of each year to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and to encourage individuals to engage in activities that can lead to better health.

The topic for World Health Day 2014 is vector-borne disease. What are vectors and vector-borne diseases? WHO defines vectors as “organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another. Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Think mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies. Think West Nile and malaria.

In fact, malaria is the most deadly vector-borne disease, causing 660,000 deaths in 2010. Globalization, along with environmental changes like climate change, is impacting the transmissions of these diseases, causing them to appear in previously unaffected areas. Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vector-borne diseases account for an estimated 17 percent of the global burden of all infectious diseases.

Through the campaign WHO aims for the following:

  • Families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by vectors know how to protect themselves
  • Travelers know how to protect themselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases when travelling to countries where these pose a health threat
  • In countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem, ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their populations
  • In countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat, health authorities work with environmental and relevant authorities locally and in neighboring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their proliferation

Pan American Health Organization outlines how you can protect yourself and your environment from vector-borne diseases:

  • Wear clothing that acts as a barrier to exposure to bites
  • Use mechanisms to keep vectors out of houses such as screens on doors, windows and eaves
  • Reduce breeding sites near houses or in communities by:

  1. covering water storage containers
  2. eliminating puddles and drainage of places where water accumulates
  3. eliminating unusable containers where water pools
  4. controlling garbage in yards and gardens

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Mosquito Spraying Ineffective and Toxic to Wildlife and Humans

Effects of Climate Change on the Spread of West Nile Virus

Evidence Shows Warming Climate Will Worsen Malaria Epidemic

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less
Protesters face off against security during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has bowed to the advice of public health experts and extended social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus till at least April 30.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less