Bees, not snakes or spiders, pose the biggest health threat to Australia, experts have warned. (Getty file image) Tweet Facebook Mail Bees and other insects, not snakes, spiders or jellyfish, pose the biggest public health threat in Australia, experts warn.New research shows an allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, to insect bites and stings accounted for more than half of all deaths from a venomous creature between 2000-2013.This has led to calls for Australians not to become complacent about the humble bee."Perhaps it's because bees are so innocuous that most people don't really fear them in the same way they fear snakes," Dr Ronelle Welton from the Australian Venom Unit at the University of Melbourne said. Analysis of 13 years of data conducted at the Australian Venom Unit, published in the Internal Medicine Journal, shows venomous stings and bites resulted in almost 42,000 hospital admissions over the study period.Bees and wasps were responsible for just over 33 percent of total admissions, compared to 30 per cent for spider bites, and 15 percent for snake bites.Overall, 64 people were killed by a venomous sting or bite, with more than half of these deaths (34) due to an allergic reaction to an insect bite that caused anaphylactic shock.RelatedRush to publish COVID-19 research saw errors in top medical journals triple, study findsNew health alert in South Australia after positive COVID-19 case breached quarantineTwo new coronavirus cases reported in South AustraliaThere were 27 deaths from snake bite, but the statistics showed snake bite poisoning caused nearly twice as many deaths per hospital admission than any single other venomous creature.This makes the snake bite one of the most important venomous injuries to address, the study authors said.Bees and wasps killed 27 people, ticks caused three deaths, ant bites another two and the box jellyfish killed three people.There were no deaths from spider bites recorded.Western Australia and South Australia were hot spots for stings and bites.There were no deaths recorded in Tasmania and bites and stings were also much more likely to occur between April to October.With AAP© AAP 2020
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