What I’m Reading Now: The Mosquito

The mosquito is the animal most lethal to humans.

No other animal is even close.

Some 130 TRILLION mosquitos carrying at least 15 lethal diseases killed 830,000 people last year — more than all wars and all murders combined.

For the record, this a huge *decline* in mosquito-borne deaths. Since 2000, the annual average number of human deaths caused by the mosquito has been around 2 million.

One factor lowering mosquito deaths is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has contributed over $4 billion to mosquito research since 2000.

So how do other animal killers add up?

Not to much, I am afraid.

Snakes kill about 50,000 people a year, dogs and sand flies about 25,000 each, the tsetse fly and the assassin bug about 10,000 each.

The crocodilians kill about 1,000 people a year, hippos about 500, lions and elephants about 100 people a year.

Sharks and wolves — globally — kill about 10 people each a year.

The bottom line: the mosquito has killed more people than *any* other cause of death in human history.

In fact, it’s estimated that nearly HALF of all humans that have ever lived died from mosquito-borne infection; 52 billion of the total 108 billion people that have lived over the last 200,000 years.