These small creatures can endanger your life!! Learn them and save yourself!!

 Beware of these small creatures, they can literally endanger your life!

While we are very much busy making our life comfortable by preventing or treating well known leading causes of death like DM, HTN with associate conditions e.g. stroke, heart attack etc, road traffic accidents, sexually transmitted disease e.g.  HIV or AIDS, in the meantime, a group of small creatures around us are threatening our life, affecting more than  50% of world population (according to WHO) and causing death of large number of people annually.

Yes, the bite of this small creature is the biggest threat for our life. With the slogan “small bite, big threat”, WHO is trying to bring awareness among the health professionals and general population around the world.

These small creatures are called vectors. Mosquito, flies, ticks, bugs, freshwater snails etc are the vectors who are responsible for lots of diseases of human being. These vectors or small creatures are fond of contaminated water, untidy and unclean places to breed and for this most targeted population for these vector born diseases are poor people around the world from poor and non-developed countries, developing countries and occasionally some parts of developed countries too!

small creatures are called vectors

Below I am going to show you the most important vector born diseases, their global scenario of prevalence, and the culprit vectors.


Global scenario: In 2012, there were about 207 million cases of  malaria and an estimated 627 000 deaths.

Agent of the disease: Plasmodium parasites namely P. vivax, P. faciparum and p. malariae.

Vector: Female anopheles mosquito

At risk population: Young people, pregnant women, people living with HIV, non-immune people travelling to malaria endemic zone etc




Global scenario: More than 2.5 billion people – over 40% of the world’s population – are now at risk of dengue.

Agent of the disease: Dengue virus

Vectors: Aedes aegypti mosquito mostly. In some parts of the world Aedes albopictus may act as a vector


Yellow fever:

Global scenario: Every year there are around 200 000 cases of illness and 30 000 deaths from yellow fever.

Agent of the disease: Yellow fever virus

Vectors: Haemagogus and Aedes species of mosquitoes


Lymphatic filariasis:

Global scenario: More than 120 million people are currently infected with lymphatic filariasis, about 40 million of whom are disfigured and incapacitated by the disease.

Agent of the disease: Filarial parasite. Wuchereria bancrofti,  Brugia malayi and B. timori.


  • Culex mosquito, widespread across urban and semiurban areas
  •  Anopheles mainly in rural areas; and
  • Aedes, mainly in the Pacific Islands and parts of the Philippines


The Leishmaniases or kala-azar:

Global scenario: There are an estimated 1.3 million new cases of leishmaniasis and 20 000 to 30 000 deaths from it every year.

Agent of the disease: Leishmania parasite

Vectors: Phlebotomine species of sandfly

At risk people: Malnutrition, poverty, poor living conditions and sleeping outside or on the ground increase the risk.


Lyme disease:

Global scenario: Lyme disease occurs in rural areas of Asia, north-western, central and eastern Europe and the United States of America (USA).

Agent of the disease: Borrelia bacteria

Vector: Infected deer ticks (Ixodes species)


Other vector born diseases are: Chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, Onchocerciasis (river blindness), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Tick-borne encephalitis, Schistosomiasis (bilharzia), Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) etc.


So we can see that lots of life threatening diseases is caused by small vectors with whom we are fighting every time.  But to prevent them creating disease in our body, we need systematic and combined approach to eradicate them or reduce their burden.  What steps can be taken?


  1. Simple bednet or long lasting insecticide net
  2. Indoor and outdoor residual spray with insecticide
  3. Addition of chemical to water which hamper their breeding
  4. Use of repellent in the form of coils, vaporizing mats, aerosols and insecticide-impregnated curtains,
  5. Reducing breeding habitat
  6. Biological control
  7. Genetic control
  8. Personal protection: Use of  long sleeved shirt, wear long trouser, use light color shirt etc
  9. Medication for the travelers who are going to  travel in  endemic zone


Learn at first who are our enemies?

Target the enemies………………then……………fire………………….Be healthy………….Be happy with your family!


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Hafizul Islam has written 7 posts in this blog.

I am a doctor!

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