Published On: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2016

How to Deal with the World’s Most Dangerous Animal

What’s the world’s most dangerous animal? Is it a lion, a shark or a venomous snake? This article reveals what the animal is and how to deal with it!

If you had to guess what the deadliest living creature on the planet was, what would you say? Most people think of a shark, a lion, or a venomous snake. The truth is, none of those come close to the correct answer. The deadliest menace to man on the planet isn’t as big or threatening as a shark or a snake, nor as physically powerful as a lion. But the lowly mosquito will be responsible for over 700,000 deaths around the world this year alone. These tiny insects carry dangerous and fatal diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and more.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/James Gathany

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/James Gathany

And in case you think you’re safe because you live in the United States or Britain, you only have to look at the ongoing outbreaks of West Nile virus and other encephalitis strains in the US, or the recent outbreak of the chikungunya virus in the UK to understand that mosquitoes are a very real and dangerous threat.

While medical treatment can take care of most serious diseases carried by mosquitoes, the ideal situation is to avoid infection in the first place. There are a number of ways that you can prevent mosquitoes from making a victim (and a meal) out of you on your next hiking trip or outdoor excursion.

First, there is a broad choice of repellents on the market that you can use to stop mosquito attacks. Make sure you choose one formulated with 3o% to 5o% diethyltoluamide (DEET) for maximum protection. Be aware that DEET can cause skin irritation if you wear it for an extended time, including rashes and more severe reactions, so use it with caution.

Repellents containing picaridin are also very effective. You should use a repellent that contains as close to15% picaridin as possible for the best possible protection. In countries outside the US, it may be available in even higher concentrations.

If you don’t want to use man-made chemicals, there are natural oils which have shown effectiveness at warding off mosquitoes, such as tea tree and citronella. The downside to using natural options is their potency, which can vary greatly and cannot easily be compared between brands and oils.

Of course, a mosquito can’t bite you if you aren’t exposing any skin. If you know that mosquitoes pose a threat, you should dress accordingly. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts go a long way in keeping insects at bay. Try to wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible, but avoid tight clothing as mosquitoes can bite through a thin layer. Many sporting goods outlets sell outdoor apparel that is lightweight and offers optimal protection against mosquitoes.

Authors Bio:

Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for Mybiosource.com and administered ELISA kits in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. She contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter@MaggieBiosource

West Nile virus life cycle Image/CDC

West Nile virus life cycle

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