Like they do every December, websites across the internet are rounding up their best posts and stories from the year. That includes the website for the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which highlighted its top five stories for 2020. And coming in at the number one spot, the health agency picked... mosquitoes.
Specifically, it picked its recognition of World Mosquito Day, where the center called attention to a mosquito species called Anopheles stephensi, which spreads malaria. It’s certainly an interesting choice, considering the CDC spent the year battling a global pandemic. Not to knock mosquitoes! They’re very important, and they’re very deadly. But COVID-19 didn’t even make the number two slot — it clocked in at number three.
Infectious disease and global health experts on Twitter found it interesting, as well.
Oh my goodness. Did a mosquito write this list?— Josh Michaud (@joshmich) December 22, 2020
"#1: The Spread of Anopheles stephensi and the Fight Against the World’s Deadliest Animal"— Paul Sax (@PaulSaxMD) December 23, 2020
Wow @CDC surprising choice
December 21, 2020: Top 5 Global Health Stories of 2020 https://t.co/rCHa3wiWmw via @CDCgov
The Center for Global Health didn’t say what its methodology was for this ranking, so we can’t be sure how the list ended up ranked the way it did. The CDC could be tracking page views. Or maybe it’s a sign of self awareness from the agency, which made a number of missteps stateside that contributed to the horrible US response to the pandemic. Maybe the people building the list were just sick of COVID-19. No clear answers here. But congrats to the mosquitoes.