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The Deadliest Animals in the World

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The worlds deadliest animals carry disease, venom, and anger. They attack to protect, to survive, or out of pure vengeance. After researching the many animals that cause harm to humans, these are the most consistent results.

1. Mosquitoes: 725,000

Mosquitoes carry diseases such as malaria, Zika Virus, yellow fever, dengue virus, West Nile Virus, and chikungunya virus. Malaria alone caused 446,000 deaths in 2016. 91% of those deaths happened in Africa. Many of the other diseases listed are most common in Latin America. There is a yellow fever epidemic in Brazil right now, while Zika continues to affect pregnant women in many South American countries. Mosquitoes-borne illnesses are becoming a world issue as each day passes. Things such as mosquito repellents, insecticide covered bed nets, and large amounts of research are a huge part of the mosquito-borne illness resistance.

2. Humans: 475,000

Humans are the most dangerous mammals in the world. Homicide rates in inner cities grow daily. Terrible instances of school and church shootings and fatal acts of terrorism are what put the human to human-caused deaths so high up on this list. Countries within Latin America and states within the United States have the highest rate of homicides within their cities.

3. Snakes: 50,000-100,000

If you live in North America, Australia, or Europe this isn’t a huge concern of yours. If you live in places such as India, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, or Southeastern Asia, it’s a totally different story. Snake venom comes in three different forms. The first is Hemotoxic venom. This venom attacks your cardiovascular system. Then there is Cytotoxic venom. This venom attacks your muscle groups. Lastly, there is Neurotoxic venom. This venom attacks your brain and nervous system. No matter which venom it is, it can cause fatal results instantly, or if not treated quickly. The scary part of being bitten is that there is very little antivenom accessible in places that have high rates of snake bites.

4. Dogs: 25,000

Man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Don’t panic though, your beloved golden retriever down the hall isn’t going to turn on you. It’s specifically dogs infected with rabies that cause this number of deaths. Rabies is a contagious and fatal virus. You’ve most likely heard of raccoons carrying this disease. It is spread by the animal’s saliva. The symptoms it includes are fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. Once these symptoms appear it is almost always fatal.

5. Teste Fly & Assassin Bugs & Freshwater Snails: 10,000

These three animals are small but frightening. Starting with the Teste Fly, this bug carries a parasite called trypanosomiasis. This is also called the “sleeping sickness” due to it disturbing a persons sleep patterns. This disease is most common in the sub-Saharan Africa. The scariness of this disease is that it can often go undetected until it is too late. Then there is Assassin bugs or the “Kissing bugs.” These bugs carry a parasite that causes major damage to organs that can be fatal. Finally, Freshwater Snails. These snails carry parasitic worms that infect people with a virus called schistosomiasis. This causes abdominal pain and blood in the stool or urine. It is said that the death rate due to schistosomiasis could be much larger than recorded.

6. Roundworms: 4,500 deaths

Roundworms carry an infection called ascariasis. This is an infection in the small intestine. It is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, such as Latin American and sub-Saharan Africa. People get roundworms by accidentally ingesting their eggs. Roundworms lay their eggs in soil that is usually contaminated by feces. Children are most commonly affected by ascariasis by playing in the soil and then putting their hands in their mouths that have the soil infested eggs in them. Most people do recover from ascariasis, but if the infestation gets out of hand then the symptoms caused can take someone’s life.

Other notable animals:
  • Crocodiles are responsible for 2,500 deaths
  • Hippopotamus are responsible for 500-1,000 deaths
  • Elephants and lions are responsible for 100 deaths
  • Sharks are responsible for 6 deaths

***All numbers were gathered by multiple resources. The numbers used here are the most common results found.


The Environmentally-Friendly DynaTrap

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“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.” -Founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson (June 4, 1916-July 3, 2006)

Happy Early Earth Day!

Earth Day comes every year on April 22nd. This is a day created, not just for those who feel passionate enough to advocate for change at marches and rallies, but for everyone who knows that they can make little or big changes that can positively affect our environment. We’ve all heard it before, reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve all been told to plant trees, to not leave the water running when brushing our teeth, to clean up litter in our neighborhoods and lakes, etc. The number one thing people need to do is unplug from their technology and reconnect with nature. As soon as more people begin to appreciate the beauty of our National Parks, oceans, and even our own backyards, a change in our habits is bound to take place. Overall, let Sunday, April 22nd be the start of treating this world with more kindness and respect.

What Is DynaTrap Advocating For?
No More Chemicals!

Pesticides and chemicals vary in how toxic they are to humans and the environment. In 1990, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that some 79,000 children were involved in common household pesticide poisonings or exposures. Pesticides are found in thousands of household products. Large uses of pesticides can be harmful to you, your children, your pets, and our environment. DynaTrap’s products are all pesticide-free, chemical-free, and odor-free. Individuals should have no concern when placing any DynaTrap product in their homeyard or garden. All they will do is attract harmful insects by using CO2 and UV Light. The DynaTrap is one of few repellents that helps rid pests without emitting harmful toxins into our private or public spaces. DynaTrap prides itself on solving this common bug trapping issue, without using any chemicals that could further hurt our planet or customers.

The World’s Largest Environmental Movement: For those wanting to get involved, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to ending plastic pollution in our oceans. To learn more, visit this link.

Malaria in Benin-A first hand account from Peace Corps member Tabby Miller

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Benin is a country in West Africa, situated between Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Togo.  Tabetha Miller is currently a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Djougou, Benin. 

This is her story and community reflection on Malaria and Malaria Prevention.

Map of The Republic of Benin

The moment I stepped off the plane, I was swept into a room with the doctors holding out something called Doxyclycline, expressing that I needed to take 100mg a day.  Coming to Benin has been my first experience living with the everyday possibility of catching malaria. What is malaria? Malaria is a disease that is transferred through mosquitoes and mosquito bites.  Usually, when I am at my site in Benin, people ask if I must live with the possibility of malaria in the states and when I respond with “no”, the looks of surprise are priceless.  The mosquitoes in Benin are infected with a parasite called Plasmodium and only the female mosquitoes can transfer it.  This parasite is deadly and is known to be one of the leading causes of death in the West African country of Benin.  Because of this, precautions need to be made and these precautions become an everyday part of life.

My host family in Lokossa

As a Wisconsin born American woman, coming to Benin, my knowledge of malaria prevention was non-existent and really revolved around what I had seen in movies, blogs, and random Google searches.  I knew about the mosquito nets, but I had no idea how to use it.  I knew that some people become sick with this little thing called “malaria”, but I had no idea what the symptoms were and how serious it could be.  Now that I have spent six months in this country, I have become more educated about ways that I can prevent malaria within myself, how malaria affects my community that I currently live in, and the seriousness of the sickness.

My host mother and I

My first three months in the country, I lived in Lokossa, a city in Southern Benin, during the rainy season.  More rain equals more mosquitos and although I was taking my anti-malaria medication, sleeping under my mosquito net, and putting on mosquito spray day and night, the mosquitos still found a way to bite me and I was constantly in an itchy pain.  Thankfully, my medication and prevention must have been doing something right because I never once caught malaria.  My host mother, a woman in her late fifties had malaria during the first week that I met her.  My reaction was very scared for her and I knew that she needed to rest to recover.  My host mom, on the other hand, did not like the idea of staying still.

When a person catches malaria, the biggest symptoms are constant diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, and weakness.  All of these symptoms were affecting my Beninese host mother, but she did not feel it was necessary to rest.  She took her required medication to counter the parasite and then she continued with her day to day life.  This was my first encounter with Malaria and since then, I have found that so many other host country nationals have a similar outlook on the disease.  For me as an American, Malaria is such a foreign disease that often gives off the impression that it will never happen in the states.  When I see it first hand, I have a very strong impression on how serious this disease is.  For Beninese nationals, this disease is common and while people do need to rest, many have the impression that it is a quick recovery.

Some of my students between the 4th and 8th grade

Since being at my permanent site in Northern Benin, the number of mosquitoes has gone down, however, the level of Palus (malaria) has gone up.  We are entering the season of Harmattan, a season where the dust from the Sahara Desert blows into West Africa and brings along a cooler temperature.  This is a major blessing for me to live in a cooler temperature for a few months, but already, family members of my co-workers, mothers of my students, and my students themselves have had malaria and have missed work, school, and important meetings.  I decided that I needed to talk with my counterparts and community about what they do to protect themselves from malaria and then what they do when they have malaria as well.

RAD insecticide, the off-brand to RAID

Living right next door to me in my concession is a family of six who came to Benin in 2013.  Just this past week, their oldest daughter came up to me and said, “Tabby, j’ai la palus”.  I looked at her once and by the looks of it, no one would be able to tell she had malaria, but she did.  Her outlook on it was that her doctor could simply give her one pill and soon afterward, her malaria would be gone.  I asked her mom what kind of prevention methods they use and of course, the first thing that came up was the beloved mosquito net.  Using any type of bug spray, in particular, RAD is also the next step to keeping a family free of malaria.  The last thing that the family does on a regular basis is taking Lariama preventive medicine that is taken once a week on the same day.  This is more than I have heard from other families in Benin.  When I was in training, during my first three months in the country, my host family took a medication once every two months.  Medication, along with protection with mosquito nets and bug spray are the number one ways in the country to avoid catching malaria.

My bed in Benin. Always covered by the mosquito net that was given to me by the Peace Corps!

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I can honestly say that I am constantly worried about catching malaria, not only because I live twelve hours from the doctor, but also because I am never ready for the symptoms like diarrhea, major migraines, dizziness, and more.  Having to be on a bus to reach the doctor when I am feeling like complete crap does not sound appealing to me at all.  Every day, I am sure to take my Doxycycline and even during those I have days where I am super sweaty and tired and too lazy to put down and tuck in my mosquito net, I still push myself to do it.  The way I think about it is, if I really hate bugs (which I really do), then tucking in my mosquito net will not only protect me from mosquitoes but also those ugly scorpions and tiny insects that are all over the place.

Made in the USA and coated with insecticide

The people of Benin may or may not have as much luck with finding ways to take care of malaria and to prevent it.  I live in the third largest city in Benin, so I do not usually see many people who live in the tiny villages.  People in the city have easy access to pharmacies and doctors who can prescribe medication, but for those in the villages, it may be incredibly difficult to find the help that they need and to find the transportation to get help.  In addition to having less access to doctors and pharmacies, knowledge and understanding of mosquito nets may also go down.  In some cases, where mosquito nets were given out to small villages for free by USAID, villagers won’t actually use them to sleep under.  If one would take a long and large tour of Benin, they would see that the other use of mosquito nets in this country is to use them as garden nets.  Because many people create their income from their crops, this use sometimes seems more practical, but maybe not in the long run.

The test I would take to find out if I have Malaria and the pill Coartem to use if the test is positive

To say that being aware of malaria in a country like Benin is easy would be a lie.  There are a lot of things to know and remember.  Thankfully, I have many people to talk to and have been sticking to my lovely bottle of anti-malaria medication to avoid the dreadful ride to the south.  Along with my own protection against malaria, I have also stood as an example for my neighbors to protect themselves.  Even my counterpart at my school will ask me for advice, along with my students.  I don’t know everything, but I know more now than what I came into the Peace Corps knowing.  Let’s just hope that I will not be one of the unlucky volunteers that have malaria by the end of my two years!

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