They are just three millimeters at their smallest, the common mosquito, ranks as the deadliest animal in the world. Our reasoning: the sheer number of deaths each year, caused by various pathogens that several species of mosquitos (of the more than 3,000 in the world) carry to humans. The irritating insects—primarily those from the genera Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex—are the primary vectors of diseases like malaria, Chikungunya, encephalitis, elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus, which collectively afflict an estimated 700 million and kill roughly 725,000 people each year. As the World Health Organization notes, more than half of the human population is currently at risk from mosquito-borne diseases. Given that the pests are attracted to our body temperatures and the CO2 we exhale, our best tools to prevent infection lie in the usage of insect repellents high in active ingredients like DEET and picaridin.
You can find them in every region on the planet except Antarctica.
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