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Australia's Most Dangerous Animal: The Bee Is Biggest Threat to Health

Update Date: Jan 17, 2017 10:00 AM EST

Australia is known for its wildlife. Among its large numbers of animals, many wouldn't predict nor expect its most dangerous wildlife, which are bees

Most people would think that snakes are the most dangerous animals in Australia. But the new University of Melbourne study published in the Internal Medicine Journal on Tuesday, Jan. 17, reveals that bees and other stinging insects such as wasps are often the most dangerous creatures.

Between 2000 and 2013, more than half of deaths were caused by bites and stings. When it comes to numbers of admissions, stings and bites caused twice the number in hospitals compared to snake bits, and the same figure for deaths.

Data gathered in 13 years on bites and stings from venomous creatures, which is the first national analysis, show that over one-third (33 percent) of almost 42,000 admissions were caused by bees and wasps, while 30 percent of admissions were caused by spiders and 15 percent by snakes.

Additionally, snake bites caused 27 deaths between 2000 and 2013. However, researchers found fatalities from snakes were rare given as there are 140 species of land snakes in Australia, according to The Guardian.

Dr. Ronelle Welton, a public health expert at the University of Melbourne's Australian venom unit, who led the study said people were more likely to die from an encounter with a dog and/or horse. He added that Australia was known internationally as "the epicentre of all things venomous."

However, there is a lack of data about related injuries and fatalities that can be used for the national guidelines for prevention and treatment.

A total of 12,351 admissions and 27 fatalities were caused by stings from bees and wasps. The total death due to an allergic reaction to an insect bite that caused anaphylactic shock is 64, according to SMH

There were three deaths caused by jellyfish reported, three by ticks and two by ants. There was man who reportedly died from a redback spider bite in April 2016.

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