Australia is known for having a diverse array of animal species. While Australia’s rich wildlife may attract tourists from all over the world, it is the country’s venomous animals that scare many potential visitors away. Some people may consider Australia’s association with dangerous animals to be unfair, or the result of misinformation. However, statistics show that the country’s reputation for being home to an abundance of deadly insects, snakes and spiders is well earned. While many outsiders consider exotic snakes and spiders to be the most deadly of all venomous creatures in Australia, it is ironic to learn that the most dangerous creatures in the land down under are actually the same types of insects we encounter regularly in America. Both bees and wasps are considered to be the biggest threat to public health in Australia. In fact, bees and wasps send more Aussies to the hospital per year than any other venomous animal in the country, including snakes and spiders. Not only do these statistics surprise everyday people, but researchers themselves are also puzzled by the high amount of medical emergencies relating to bee and wasp stings in the country.
Researchers in Australia recently analyzed statistics that cover the past 13 years of bites and stings from venomous animals in the country. Of the 42,000 hospitalizations that resulted from venomous bites and stings in Australia, one third were caused by bees and wasps, while 30% were caused by spiders and 15% were caused by snakes. Although the number of hospital visits resulting from wasp and bee attacks was much higher than visits resulting from snake attacks, both groups caused the same amount of fatalities, which was 27 from 2000 to 2013. Men between the ages of 30 and 35 were at the highest risk of sustaining a venomous bite or sting from any animal. More than half of all venomous bite or sting fatalities occurred as a result of an allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. According to Dr. Daniel Hoyer, of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the most surprising aspect of this analysis is the extraordinarily high number of deaths resulting from encounters with insects. Some medical professionals believe that potentially deadly allergic responses to venomous insect stings is not given enough attention in Australia, which could explain the high rate of anaphylactic shock fatalities in the country.
Do you think that some of the most deadly bee and wasp species in Australia also dwell in America?
Tags: pest control