‘Mosquitoes kill more people in one day than sharks do in a century’, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently stated in his blog, which was dedicated to his least favourite critters for an entire week. Mosquitoes even keep him up at night.
Why mosquitoes are so dangerous
In the 100-year period between 1916 and 2016, approximately one thousand people were killed by sharks. However, some 1,500 people die each day (!) from diseases such as malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, West Nile fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya virus. Mosquitoes play a crucial part in the way these diseases are spread. They do not cause the diseases themselves, but do transfer the actual pathogens (malaria parasites, viruses) from A to B. Every time an infected mosquito bites someone, it transmits the disease.
BPRC has joined the fight to create therapies with which these serious diseases can be eradicated. Along with our many colleagues all over the world, we hope that Bill Gates' statement will one day cease to be true.