Exotic Vector-borne Diseases
The following diseases are very rare in Georgia but are reported occasionally in people who have lived or traveled internationally. A specific vector is necessary for these diseases to be transmitted and usually this vector is only found outside of the United States. In some cases, the vector is present in Georgia, but the parasite/virus is not. The risk of these exotic vector-borne diseases becoming endemic in Georgia is considered to be low.
Information for the Public
- - Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. It has occurred in Africa, Southern Europe, Southeast Asia, and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers.
- - Dengue is caused by any one of four related arboviruses transmitted by the bite of a mosquitoes, most commonly Aedes aegypti. It is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. Although dengue rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.
- - Japanese encephalitis is a potentially severe viral disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes in the agricultural regions of Asia.
- Zika Virus - Zika virus is a viral disease that is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Zika virus has been transmitted in some areas of Florida and Texas. In addition, travelers returning from areas where the virus is being spread may become sick after returning home to the US. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers.
- - Chagas disease is an insect-transmitted parasitic disease common in South and Central America.
- - Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of the sandfly.
- Aedes albopictus is known to be a competent laboratory vector of more than 30 viruses. Several of these viruses are found in Georgia, including eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and LaCrosse encephalitis viruses (LAC). Aedes albopictus has been implicated in the transmission of dengue, but is not a major vector. It has also been implicated in the transmission of Chikungunya virus, and is the major vector for one variant of the disease.
Page last updated 6/6/2018