This week Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates has called attention to the world’s deadliest animal, and what can be done to reduce its impact on humans.
Although many people are fearful of big pointy-toothed predators like sharks, wolves, lions, crocodiles, and snakes, mosquitoes kill many more humans per year than all of them combined. Mosquitoes can be lethal because many transmit a number of deadly diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever. These diseases are most common in tropical regions, but concerted efforts to combat mosquito-borne disease with education, medical treatment, and bed nets have proven to help reduce human deaths…at least in the limited areas where they have been used. The challenge now is to secure the resources necessary to deploy these tactics on a wider scale.