Dogs and Wasps can be Deadlier
A yellow jacket, a type of wasp, stings its handler.
Of the 1,610 people killed in encounters with animals between 2008 and 2015.
478 were killed by hornets, wasps and bees, and 272 by dogs.
Snakes, spiders and scorpions were responsible for 99 deaths over the eight years.
Using a database, researchers found that 72 people annually were killed by “other mammals.
Two people were killed by marine animals over the eight-year period, and no one was killed by a rat.
But 95 children under 10 years old were killed by dogs over the eight years.
Over all, about 72 percent of the victims were men, and most were between 35 and 64 years old. The Southeast had the highest number of deaths and the highest death rate, while the Northeast had the lowest. The data has some limitations. It does not include fatalities from car crashes with deer and other animals. According to the C.D.C., that results in about 200 deaths a year. And causes of death may have been misclassified because of the limitations of information provided by death certificates.
Dr. Forrester emphasized that most deaths are not from encounters with wild animals. Dogs, cattle and horses are much more dangerous. Among non-domestic animals, bees, wasps and hornets present the greatest danger.
The problem is growing worse, he said, because of the recent increase in the price of a lifesaving medicine for insect stings: epinephrine auto-injectors, including the EpiPen. “The 400 percent increase in the price of the medicine used for anaphylaxis is a significant public health issue,” he said.