More than 700,000 people — that’s how many lives are taken each year thanks to a bite from small and seemingly innocuous animal.
Bill Gates released this powerful infographic on his blog late last week to highlight a campaign against the deadly and debilitating diseases that are carried by mosquitoes.
“Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw ‘Jaws,’” Gates wrote on his blog. “But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.”
Gates pointed out that malaria, which is a parasite spread by the mosquito, kills more than 600,000 people per year, but it also is debilitating for an additional 200 million. And that’s just one of many mosquito-borne illnesses.
Unless you’re living in Antarctica, you’re probably subjected to mosquitoes’ piercing mouth parts every once in a while. The likelihood of whether or not these mosquitoes carry a disease though depends on the region.
In light of this, Gates launched “mosquito week,” as sort of a spin off the popular “shark week,” pointing out that these tiny insects kill 50,000 times more people than sharks. He even made a play off the viral movie “Sharknado,” writing that “Skeeternado” is a flick he’d like to see.
Watch Gates’ video about mosquito week:
Other blog posts Gates has written in honor of mosquito week include how to combat malaria, the sacrifice of his own arm for hungry research mosquitoes (which don’t have any disease risk) and what it feels like to have malaria.