The theme for 2014 is vector-borne diseases. Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes, mites and ticks that can carry disease from one infected person (or animal) to another person and place to place. The diseases caused by these vectors are called vector-borne diseases.
More than half of the world’s population is at risk of vector-borne diseases. Vector-borne diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases, causing more than 1 million deaths annually. More than 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk of contracting dengue fever alone. Malaria causes more than 600 000 deaths every year globally.
With globalisation of trade and travel, Hong Kong is also under the threat of various vector-borne diseases, including dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, scrub typhus and spotted fever.
To echo World Health Day 2014, the Department of Health is running a territory-wide publicity and public education campaign, launched in April 2014, with various bureaux /government departments and supporting organisations. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the general public about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take the following actions:
- Protect ourselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases while at home and when travelling, and
- Prevent vector proliferation.