Jaws might not have had the same cultural impact if it had featured a tiny, buzzing insect in lieu of a great white shark.
But, as Bill Gates explained for last year’s World Mosquito Day, we really should be much more worried about mosquitoes than sharks.
I hate mosquitoes. The diseases they spread kill more than half a million people every year. In fact, mosquitoes kill more people in one day than sharks kill in 100 years: https://t.co/r81u9DDB2B #WorldMosquitoDay pic.twitter.com/j6DB4yZ4m9
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 20, 2018
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and Zika, make them one of the deadliest animals in the world, responsible for millions of deaths.
Indeed, as the below chart shows, mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks have in an entire century.
A report released earlier this year also suggests that climate change is only going to make the problem worse. The range of two key disease-spreading species – Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus – is set to expand significantly by the middle of this century.
“If no action is taken to reduce the current rate at which the climate is warming, pockets of habitat will open up across many urban areas with vast amounts of individuals susceptible to infection,” explained Moritz Kraemer, co-author of the report and an infectious disease scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Oxford.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
World Mosquito Day is held on 20 August every year – the anniversary of Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on the disease.
This article was originally published in the World Economic Forum.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.