The World’s Deadliest Animals

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10. Ascaris roundworm
> Est. annual deaths: 2,700

These parasites are common mainly in impoverished tropical and subtropical regions of the world where sanitation is poor. An estimated 800,000 to 1.2 billion people are infected every year, resulting in up to 60,000 deaths — this despite the fact that the disease is highly treatable where proper care is available.

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9. Tsetse fly
> Est. annual deaths: 3,500

The tsetse fly spreads a parasite that causes its victims to fall into a deadly sleep. Substances used in treatment can also be deadly. In the last hundred years, annual cases in Africa have been reduced from hundreds of thousands to a fraction of that through improved diagnosis and treatment.

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8. Scorpion
> Est. annual deaths: 3,500

Only about 30 of the known 1,500 scorpion species are able to deliver fatal bites. Of the million or more scorpion stings delivered to humans each year, about 3,500 are fatal,

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7. Freshwater snail
> Est. annual deaths: 4,400

Freshwater snails, native to Asia, Africa, and South America, carry a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia. By one estimate, the disease infects a quarter of a billion people every year, killing about 200,000.

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6. Kissing bug
> Est. annual deaths: 8,000

The kissing bug, found mainly in Central and South America, but also in the American South, spreads a disease called chagas, which enters the bloodstream from a bite usually delivered around the mouth of the victim. The World Health Organization believes there are six million cases of the disease each year world-wide, with an unknown percentage resulting in deadly heart damage.