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Mosquitoes the world's deadliest animal by a long shot

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    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Friday, May 2, 2014, 5:17 PM -

    Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is starting a conversation about the world's deadliest animal.

    While it may not receive as much attention as wolves or tigers, he's doing what he can to shove the oft-ignored species into the spotlight.

    "On my recent trip to Indonesia, I got to feed the world's deadliest animal," Gates said in a Reddit post earlier this week.

    "Here is a picture."

    RELATED: Jurassic Park? Scientists discover fossilized mosquito full of blood

    The seemingly-innocent photograph features the billionaire philanthropist with his arm over a box of mosquitoes.

    "Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do," he writes on his blog.

    "Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it."

    Courtesy: Reddit

    Courtesy: Reddit

    According to Gates, the insects carry a bevy of devastating diseases.

    "The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis," he writes.

    The blog post is accompanied by this eye-opening infographic:

    Gates has deemed this "mosquito week" and has spent the past few days blogging about the issue.

    In the meantime, he and his wife Melinda are working with health experts to find innovative ways to cure deadly diseases, like the mosquito-borne virus Dengue.

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