Neglected funding for vector-borne diseases: A near miss this time, a possible disaster the next time

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are some of the world's most common and devastating maladies. Despite this truth, the United States government had decided to drastically cut funding for the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID) program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Fiscal Year 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill. Nearly US$27 million had been removed from the DVBID financial plan in the President's FY 2011 budget, slashing DVBID funding from US$39 million to US$12 million. Although the program is minimally supported by other agencies, this 70% funding cut would have virtually eliminated the DVBID program. (Editorial)