One the world's deadliest animals. Image: REUTERS/James Gathany/CDC/Handout via Reuters
Explore and monitor how Global Health is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:
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.
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.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about epidemics?
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.
Don't miss any update on this topic
Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.
License and Republishing
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
More on Global HealthSee all
March 1, 2024
February 29, 2024
February 26, 2024
Neema Kaseje, Robert Metzke, Alaa Murabit and Michael Newsome
February 15, 2024