US Strategy Aims to Protect the Nation from Vector-Borne Diseases


CDC addresses rising vector-borne diseases with an initiative to enhance public health protection.

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From 2001 to 2023, the US reported nearly 1 million vector-borne disease (VBD) cases, due to mosquito outbreaks, the wide spread of tickborne diseases, fleas, lice, and more. The public health challenge is worsened by only 1 available vaccine for domestic VBDs, highlighting the need for a national effort. The US government introduced "A National Public Health Framework for the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases in Humans" in 2020, later expanding it to a comprehensive VBD National Strategy. This initiative represents a federal effort in VBD prevention and control, focusing on the mission that VBDs no longer threaten the health of people, and their mission to protect people from illnesses, suffering, and death due to VBDs.1

Climate change can directly influence human health, facilitating the spread of infectious diseases previously confined to well-defined geographical areas,” Mariana Torres, MD, head of surveillance at BlueDot said. “Responding to this challenge requires a coordinated approach that includes environmental monitoring, vector control, research and development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools, and public information and awareness campaigns.”2

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the framework for combating VBDs without vaccination is by setting a vision, mission, and goals and implementing targeted public health outcomes. 3



Researching vector and pathogen biology to understand transmission and disease causation; identifying exposure risks to develop predictive tools, enhancing surveillance of vectors, hosts, and diseases, investigating the human health impacts of vector-borne diseases, focusing on immune response and disease progression.

Detect and Diagnose

Initiatives to discover and describe new vector-borne pathogens and their symptoms, improve diagnostic methods, establish and update evidence-based guidelines for disease diagnosis, and distribute resources to bolster research and testing efforts.

Prevention and Control

Focus on developing and refining prevention tools, including vaccines and vector control, formulating evidence-based guidelines for VBD prevention, and creating effective emergency response tools and strategies.


Work on discovering and assessing effective treatments and drugs for VBD, creating evidence-based management and treatment guidelines, and reviewing usage patterns to improve these recommendations.

Disseminate, Support, and Respond

Share VBD prevention and control information and guidelines with health partners and the public, ensure readiness for disease management programs, continuously improve public health efforts, respond to vector-borne emergencies, and streamline the approval of diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, and control solutions.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. The US National Strategy for VBD represents a significant federal effort, aiming to drastically reduce the impact of VBDs through research, prevention, and control measures, and by fostering national and international collaboration.
  2. As climate change continues to alter the geographic spread of vectors, the strategy emphasizes the importance of adaptive measures, including environmental monitoring and the development of new tools for diagnosis and treatment, highlighting the interconnectedness of our ecosystem and public health.
  3. Achieving the ambitious goals of the strategy requires a concerted effort not just within the US but with partners around the globe, underscoring the need for a united approach in the battle against VBDs.

Targeted Public Health Outcomes

The VBD National Strategy encourages more collaboration and innovation to reach targeted public health outcomes for the US, such as:

  1. Eliminate deaths from Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Arizona tribal communities by 2025.
  2. Eliminate sustained local spread of dengue by 2035.
  3. Sustained is defined as having more than 10 related cases in one jurisdiction.
  4. Reduce the number of Lyme disease cases (laboratory confirmed) by 25% by 2035, compared to 2022.
  5. Reduce the annual number of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease cases to below 500 by 2035.

To include, the approximate 476,000 annual Lyme disease diagnoses projected in the US, underscore the urgent need for effective prevention strategies. Prevention Strategies include being mindful of going outside of ticks in grassy or wooded areas. Protect yourself by treating gear with 0.5% permethrin and using EPA-approved insect repellents like DEET. Check for ticks on clothing and gear after being outdoors, use a dryer on high heat to kill ticks, and wash clothes in hot water. Shower and do a full body check for ticks within two hours of coming indoors to lower disease risk.4

All in all, the efforts outlined in the US National Strategy for VBD underscore the importance of collaboration both within the US and globally. Leveraging advancements in technology and sharing knowledge and resources can strengthen defenses against the threat of VBD. This is essential for public health, achieving public health outcomes, and responding effectively to the evolving challenges posed by VBD.


  1. CDC. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the US The National Public Health Strategy to Prevent and Control Vector-Borne Diseases in People. Accessed February 28, 2024. chrome-extension://
  2. Abene, S. Navigating Malaria Control. Contagion. Published February 22, 2024. Accessed February 28, 2024.
  3. CDC. VBD National Strategy to Protect People. Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD). Published February 5, 2024. Accessed February 28, 2024.
  4. Abene, S. The Surge in Lyme Disease Reports. Contagion. Published February 16, 2024. Accessed February 28, 2024.
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