Public Health Significance of Rodents and Insects

  • Donald Vesley


On a worldwide basis, zoonotic and other infectious diseases transmitted to humans through the various machinations of arthropods and other animal species still represent the most important of all public health problems. The ability of these infectious agents to jump across species barriers to infect humans presents a formidable challenge to our survival instincts—not to mention our public health infrastructure. In the United States, we are somewhat less threatened by vector-borne diseases, but there are still significant examples of their occurrence. When global trade and transportation trends are considered, we cannot become complacent that we will remain isolated from problems anywhere on the planet. A good example is the importation of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), previously not found here, in used tires imported from Asia. This mosquito has already been shown to be capable of transmitting arboviral encephalitis in the United States. The potential for ticks and other ectoparasites to arrive on imported livestock and the potential for infected humans to travel around the world—in less time than the incubation period of many infectious diseases—signals the importance of constant surveillance to counter these threats.


Lyme Disease Public Health Significance Deer Mouse Scrub Typhus Ixodid Tick 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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The previously mentioned APHA publication on control of communicable diseases, updated at five year intervals, is a particularly useful reference for this chapter

  1. Benensen, A. S. 1995. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (16th Ed.) A.P.H.A. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Vesley
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaUSA

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