Pub­lic health duo cam­paign for mos­quito emoji

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Two pub­lic health­care work­ers in Mary­land are itch­ing to add a mos­quito emoji to the on­line an­i­mal king­dom. The Bal­ti­more Sun re­ported Marla Shaivitz and Jeff Cher­tak want to gen­er­ate buzz for the emoji with a pe­ti­tion to the Uni­code Con­sor­tium, the not-for-profit in charge of such char­ac­ters. Af­ter all, ants, bees, bee­tles, but­ter­flies, crick­ets, snails and spi­ders al­ready have their own emo­jis. Even scor­pi­ons.

Shaivitz and Cher­tak say peo­ple who hate and love mosquitoes should be able to ex­press their feel­ings about them in a sin­gle char­ac­ter via text or on so­cial me­dia. (Though Out­liers isn’t re­ally sure who loves skeeters, aside from bats and a hand­ful of other crit­ters.)

The health­care work­ers say the emoji could be used in com­mu­ni­ca­tions cam­paigns and warn­ings by sci­en­tists and pub­lic health work­ers as they bat­tle Zika, malaria, dengue fever and chikun­gunya.

The emoji also could al­low sick­ened in­di­vid­u­als to iden­tify them­selves or warn oth­ers of an in­fested area.

A few emo­jis are added an­nu­ally to the stock.

The con­sor­tium will pick new ones in Oc­to­ber, adding to the cur­rent list of 2,666. More than 50 were added ear­lier this year, in­clud­ing im­ages for vam­pires, mer­maids and a hu­man brain.

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