Wolves can be seen as dangerous, but other smaller animals and insects have killed the most humans. The more you travel, the more you learn about deadly animals and their impact on humans.
Thousands of people still get killed by animals every year. Most of these killings can happen anywhere from remote islands to busy cities.
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Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest to humans. Over the past few years, death by mosquito bites has increased around the world. It is estimated more than 1 million people die every year following such bites.
Mosquitoes also transmit diseases. You might not die from it sucking your blood, but you could die from a virus that mosquitoes carry. If you’ve visited Africa, you know that many countries require a vaccine against such bites.
Malaria is one of the most common diseases when you visit the Sahara region. The good news is this particular disease is diminishing in incidence following the direct involvement of local public authorities.
Snakes kill more than 80.000 people each year. Cobras and vipers are the most dangerous at the moment. Some of the most prominent snake attacks happen in Africa and India, countries already struggling with high HIV and malaria numbers.
But as data shows, the situation is much worse when taking into account those who survive snake bites. While this seems like a positive outcome, we now know many of those who survive cobra bites are at the risk of developing serious conditions, losing legs, or fingers. Agriculture workers are among those truly exposed to these bites.
When the victims survive, they often survive at a great cost with amputated legs or arms. While mosquitoes are also dangerous, many of their bites’ effects can be diminished at times. With snake bites, these effects can be irreversible in the case of surviving victims.
You wouldn’t believe men’s best friend is also one of the main enemies of humans. But dogs are responsible for more than 30.000 deaths each year. There are a few reasons why a dog bite victim can die. In some cases, the bite perforates veins and it leads to considerable blood loss which makes people sure victims.
But it turns out most of those who die from dog bites are infected with rabies. Dogs with rabies are the biggest enemy in most attacks, even bigger than the physical wound of the bite itself. If you get bitten by a dog, make sure you rush to the hospital as an anti-rabies vaccine can save your life. Even if the bit has been superficial, doctors still recommend getting the anti-rabies vaccine.
5. Tsetse fly
Tsetse flies live in the tropical regions of the world. They are responsible for more than 10.000 deaths each year. These flies are also called the ‘sleep of death’ flies as their bites put their victims asleep and most never awake and die soon.
Even before falling asleep after a bite from tsetse flies, victims start to experience severe headaches and severe muscle pain. You need treatment as soon as possible after the infection.
It has been shown that there’s a small treatment window as any medication can be lethal once the infection reaches the brain.
Hundreds of deaths are reported each year as caused by hippopotamuses. These animals might seem very relaxed while on their own. But they get very defensive and aggressive in the presence of humans. Most victims are found in parts of Africa where the animal runs wild.
But some victims are even unknowingly becoming the prey as these animals even target vehicles and boats. If you’re on a safari, you should still travel with caution even when cruising down African rivers as hippopotamuses can attack your boat and leave you drowning.
It is estimated that almost 4000 people die from scorpion stings each year. Most of the victims are from South America and Northwest Africa. Scientists show that more than 20 scorpion species are lethal to humans. A scorpion sting can paralyze a foot or even the entire body in minutes.
But after studying victims, scientists also discovered that most of those who passed away had previous health conditions. The groups most at risk when it comes to scorpion stings are those suffering from cardiovascular issues.
Reported scorpion deaths are dropping around the world. While thousands still die from scorpion stings each year, the numbers are smaller than the used to be following informational campaigns by health advisors.
Carefully assessing your shoes before putting them on and avoiding walking in sandals in areas where scorpions live are simple recommendations that proved effective in tackling the number of these deaths.
2. Kissing bugs
Kissing bugs such as the Reduviidae species are responsible for more than 12.000 deaths per year. These deaths are recorded mostly in Central and South America. These bugs typically bite their victims on soft tissue such as skin or lips.
In the first few weeks, victims can show mild symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches. Past the 6-week mark, kissing bug infections turn serious. For those with previous health conditions, these bugs can lead to heart failure. There are currently various medication solutions being tested for the disease.
Vaccines for the parasites the disease comes with are also under development. The most common parasite is Trypanosoma cruzi and vaccines against these parasites are about to be released in the following years.
Ascaris is a type of worm that grows in human feces. This type of worm is very dangerous once it gets into the intestinal system. The World Health Organization reports more than 60.000 kids die each year following the infection with the worm.
Simple health measures such as washing your hands before eating and avoiding contact with soil that has been in contact with feces can save your life. Kids are prone to these problems and surprisingly, deaths occur even in the developed world. Having a good hygiene routine from early childhood can keep Ascaris away from children and adults.