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Fast facts on vector-borne diseases

The World Health Organization defines vectors as organisms that pass diseases from animals to humans or between humans. Mosquitoes are probably the most widely known vector, but ticks, fleas, sand flies, freshwater snails, and triatomine bugs are all examples of vectors that can transmit disease.

There are a number of vector-borne diseases circulating in the United States, including Zika, West Nile and Lyme disease. In the coming years, these diseases may be a growing threat to an increasing number of Americans as a result of climate change. Here is some background on diseases you might be called upon to write about.

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