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Military Health System

Vector-Borne Illnesses

Everyone—in the United States and around the world—is vulnerable to diseases spread by infected insects or ticks, also called vectors. Increasing global travel and urbanization are contributing to vector-borne disease outbreaks in new regions and countries. 

Some vector-borne diseases, like plague, have been around for thousands of years. Others, like Heartland virus disease and Bourbon virus disease, have been discovered recently.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

  • Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.
  • Find and remove ticks daily from family and pets.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas inside and outside your home.

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Last Updated: November 03, 2022
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