Here's something to think about.
The fact that Ebola has made its inevitable way to America is hardly a surprise. Thankfully, we have the medical infrastructure to deal with such things. But the presence of such a frightening and terrible disease raises the real possibility of quarantines, travel bans, and additional infection of others with who came into contact with those in the early onset phases of the disease--especially health care workers and families of the sick.
But why the post about mosquitoes? Recently, two healthy and vital members of our church family were struck down with West Nile virus. Both were very ill with high fevers, hospitalized for significant periods of time, and now face long and difficult recoveries. You read about the 100 or so people every year in our neck of the woods who contract this malady, but until now, these have been statics in the news and not people I know.
Both contracted West Nile in the same way--a seemingly innocuous bite from a mosquito. It is easy to forget that this pest can be a killer. Like you, I've been bitten hundreds of times with nothing worse than an itchy welt. But that is not always the case. The chart above was prepared by Bill Gates in April of 2014 as a warning to take mosquitoes seriously as a public health threat.
West Nile is a serious disease, but not a world health threat. Malaria is--killing over 725,000 people every year, and sickening up to 200 million of the world's population. Those numbers are hard to grasp.
Not to get all apocalyptic about it, it is important to realize that Ebola is not the only threat to public heath. Mosquitoes kill far more humans annually than all other insects and animals combined. I'm not sure the DDT ban was the best public health decision.