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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 29 July, 2014

The deadliest creature on the planet? It’s not even close

Humans? Pretty deadly. Lions? Not even in the top 10.

EVER WONDERED WHAT animal kills the most humans?

Bill Gates posted this infographic on his blog last week that shows a surprising number one.

“The number of mosquito-caused deaths really is a mind-blowing thing. Other than humans killing humans during periods of war, most years, the mosquito wins,” the Mosquito Week trailer says.

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Source: Bill Gates via Gates Notes

The reason?

Mosquitoes carry terrible diseases, including: malaria (which kills more than 600,000 people every year), dengue fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, Lymphatic filariasis, and Japanese encephalitis.


These mosquito-borne infections don’t just kill — they debilitate millions of people. Sometimes these people can’t work and can’t support themselves. Billions of dollars in productivity is lost in places where these debilitating infections run rampant — fueled by mosquitoes.

The deadliest of all is malaria, a parasitic infection that mosquitoes inject directly into our bloodstream when they bite. The parasites then travel to the victim’s liver, where they multiply and reproduce. Their babies travel the bloodstream, destroying the red blood cells.

Usually the infection doesn’t kill, but it’s so abundant in so much of the equatorial world that more than 200 million people are infected every year, and more than 700,000 die from the disease.

Here are the areas of the world where Malaria is the worst, from the US Centre for Disease Control:

screen shot 2014-04-28 at 3.38.42 pm

The site is doing a whole series of posts for “Mosquito Week” including a post about “What It Feels Like To Have Malaria“.

Read: Cases of malaria in Ireland rise for the third year in a row

Read: Over half of Africa remains at “moderate to high” risk of malaria

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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