A New Mosquito Emoji May Help Raise Mosquito-Borne Disease Awareness
If there is one modern fad that past generations would never have seen coming, then it would have to be the current obsession with emojis. Text messaging, whether it is on your phone, facebook, email or any other type of messaging service, often consists of sentences followed by emojis. It seems like emojis are everywhere these days. The modern obsession with emojis has even led to a major motion picture featuring walking-talking emojis. As it happens, the recent emoji movie did not make much money, so maybe there is a limit to acceptable emoji exposure after all. However, people’s enthusiasm for emojis can be used to benefit mankind. For example, sometime during the summer of 2018, the Unicode Consortium will release a mosquito emoji in order to raise mosquito-borne disease awareness.
The mosquito is not the first animal to be made into an emoji. For example, butterflies and bees are two other insects that have earned their own emoji. Whales and rabbits have also been made into emojis. Surprisingly, well educated scientific researchers believe that the existence of a mosquito emoji could help to spread awareness concerning the dangers posed by mosquitoes. The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have both promoted the idea of a mosquito emoji as a method of spreading awareness about mosquito-borne diseases, especially the Zika virus.
Hopefully, having a mosquito emoji option in our toolbox will ultimately save lives that would otherwise be lost due to mosquito-borne diseases. This may seem like a ridiculous idea, but using a mosquito emoji may allow public health professionals to better communicate the modern threat of mosquito-borne diseases to the public. Although the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne disease has been a hot topic in the media for the past few years, some medical professionals have claimed that many Zika-infected patients are surprisingly ignorant of how to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Seeing as how social media has already proven to be an effective platform for communicating certain public health campaigns to the public, it seems unwise to dismiss the claim that a mosquito emoji could save lives in the long run. Only time will tell how well the mosquito emoji works to spread mosquito-borne disease awareness to the public.
Do you think that the mosquito emoji will lead to lower Zika infection rates?