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Mosquitoes carry lethal diseases, like malaria, Bill Gates writes. / Henrik Larsson, iStockphoto/Getty Images

Which animal kills more than 725,000 people a year? It's not sharks or snakes or even humans.

The answer is mosquitoes.

Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is calling attention to these deadly insects by naming this week Mosquito Week on his blog.

"Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do," Gates wrote on GatesNotes.com. "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 are dangerous because they carry lethal diseases, with malaria being the worst, Gates writes.

In 2012, malaria killed an estimated 627,000 people. As of the end of 2013, there were more than 200 million cases of malaria, according to the World Health Organization, noting wide uncertainty margins.

Malaria eradication is a top priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has committed $2 billion to the effort, according to the charity's website.Other mosquito-borne diseases are dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.

Follow @JolieLeeDC on Twitter.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Bill Gates: Mosquito Week is bigger deal than Shark Week

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