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J Vector Borne Dis. 2013 Apr-Jun;50(2):77-84.

Emerging and re-emerging arboviral diseases in Southeast Asia.

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Department of Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization/South East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India.


Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) have become significant public health problems, with the emergence and re-emergence of arboviral diseases nearly worldwide. The most populated Southeast Asia region is particularly vulnerable. The arboviral diseases such as dengue (DEN), Japanese encephalitis (JE), West Nile virus (WNV), chikungunya fever (CHIK), hemorrhagic fevers such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic (CCHF) fever, Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV), etc. are on the rise and have spread unprecedentedly, causing considerable burden of disease. The emergence/re-emergence of these diseases is associated with complex factors, such as viral recombination and mutation, leading to more virulent and adaptive strains, urbanization and human activities creating more permissive environment for vector-host interaction, and increased air travel and commerce. Climate is a major factor in determining the geographic and temporal distribution of arthropods, the characteristics of arthropod life cycles, the consequent dispersal patterns of associated arboviruses, the evolution of arboviruses; and the efficiency with which they are transmitted from arthropods to vertebrate hosts. The present and future arboviral threats must be mitigated by priority actions such as improving surveillance and outbreak response, establishing collaboration and communication intersectorally, and strengthening the prevention and control programmes along with improving biosafety aspects with regards to highly infectious nature of these arboviral diseases. Evidence from research needs to be generated and priority areas for research defined.

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