The World's Most Dangerous Animal!

In the tropical rainforests of the world lurks the Anopheles - without question the most dangerous animal on the planet! Attacks by Anopheles kill over a million people a year! Anopheles come out in the evening, and love nothing better than to find a nice warm-blooded human wandering around. If they cannot find a human, they may dine on monkeys or even birds. The amazing thing is that Anopheles are never mentioned by travel agents, and many travelers are unaware of the risk! You may only realize the danger after you have been attacked - and by then it may be too late.

What makes Anopheles really nasty is that they don't kill right away - they only suck out a little of your blood.

They may leave behind, though, a little tiny parasite bug called Plasmodium falciparum, which swims through your blood stream. It gets into your liver and multiplies, then the new parasites go into your blood cells. Eventually they multiply some more and break out of your cells, causing the cells to break. They can then get into your brain and kill you.

Falciparum within red blood cells

Above you see the Plasmodium falciparum within red blood cells. Without the propper treatment this person may die.

Malaria life cycle.

You may have guessed by now, that the Anopheles is a mosquito! This specie of mosquito spreads the parasite malaria, which causes over a million deaths a year. On the left is a depiction of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. When you travel in areas with malaria, you need to use mosquito repellent, sleep under a net or in a screened room, and take medicine to prevent malaria.

©2001 Dr. Stephen Blythe