October 18, 2017
There are 2,666 emojis available for tweets and texts.
Everything from a butterfly to a croissant to a unicorn.
But global health advocates think there’s one important emoji that’s missing: the mosquito. It is, after all, the world’s deadliest animal. The diseases it spreads, like malaria and dengue, cause one million deaths a year.
That’s why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a funder of this blog) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs are lobbying intensely for a mosquito emoji.
Having a mosquito emoji would be a welcome change, say Cornell University doctoral students Talya Shragai and Kara Fikrig, who study mosquitoes. Because really, using a sword next to a butterfly or a bee paired with a caterpillar — some of the emoji workarounds they’ve seen and used in text messages and tweets — just isn’t good enough.