Over the last four decades, a number of arthropod-borne infections have been recognized for the first time. Some have become of considerable public health importance, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), and others are spreading geographically and their incidence is increasing. There has been an important recrudescence of several long-known vector-borne diseases. Malaria, leishmaniasis, dengue, and plague have resurged in numerous foci, in some cases where they were thought to be under effective control. In most instances, the appearance of new diseases and syndromes and the resurgence of old can be associated with ecological changes that have favored increased vector densities. Dam construction, irrigation and other development projects, urbanization, and deforestation have all resulted in changes in vector population densities that appear to have enabled the emergence of new diseases and the resurgence of old diseases. Greatly increased human travel has spread infectious agents, introducing them into areas in which they had been hitherto absent. It is essential to understand the factors that caused increased vector densities and hence the transmission of disease to prevent the emergence and resurgence of more diseases, as well as to serve as a basis for effective control.