April 7, 2014 marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO) since it was established in 1948, as well as its annual World Health Day. This year, the theme is “vector-borne diseases,” and according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), these diseases are a result of “infection transmitted to humans and other animals by blood-feeding anthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.” C2ES adds that dengue fever, viral encephalitis, Lyme disease, and malaria are some examples of these diseases. Of these, WHO states that malaria poses the greatest danger, which “caused an estimated 660 000 deaths in 2010.”
WHO adds that “Mosquitoes, flies, ticks and bugs may be a threat to your health – and that of your family - at home and when travelling.” Therefore, it’s important to learn about cautionary and preventative measures. WHO shares this message with its Youtube video “small bite, big threat” to highlight the dangers of mosquito bites in spreading vector-borne diseases. With this year’s World Health Day campaign, WHO hopes to motivate families and communities to not only learn about these health issues, but also take action to protect themselves. Readers who want to learn more can check out WHO’s campaign page.
Written by Merry Pham