Earth Science - Other

Dangers Jungle

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"Dangers Jungle"
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Jungles are defined as "a wild land overgrown with dense vegetation, often nearly impenetrable, esp. tropical vegetation or a tropical rain forest." Beautiful tracts of land but filled with danger that we do not face in other types of environment.It is imperative to gain at least minimal knowledge about the risks you face before embarking on safari.

Mosquito related illnesses are possibly the most worrisome. Malaria is reported to kill more than a million people each year. Dengue fever strikes an estimated 50 million people annually. Yellow fever and West Nile virus are two other well known mosquito born illnesses. All of them can be deadly.

Animals in the jungle. Anacondas, pit vipers and cobras are just a few of the reptiles that call jungles their home. Larger threats range from lions and cougars to jaguars and elephants, depending on the jungle that you are in. Piranhas in the rivers make swimming out of the question. Even innocent looking frogs, such as the golden poison dart frog, have enough harmful toxin in them to kill 10 people or more.

Perhaps the most common of potential illnesses are caused by water. Parasites live in the natural water supplies and can cause grave illness and even death. An estimated 6 thousand children die each year due to water related diseases. Another factor that one must take into consideration is the overall extreme dampness of jungles. Hot and moist it is a breeding ground for infections, illness and other serious health issues.

Weather. Sudden, violent storms occur regularly. Lightning can strike surrounding trees causing danger to anyone below, as well as striking a person directly. The frequent downpours cause rivers and creeks to rise quickly, often without warning. This can result in becoming trapped in an area, or washed away with the floods.

Natives. While it may sound like something from an old TV show there are, in fact, still natives living in the jungle who are hostile towards outsiders that venture into their space. It is recommended to do a bit of research before deciding which areas of the jungle that you plan to explore.

Naturally the best way to go on a jungle safari would be to hire someone who is familiar with the area, the natives and the risks in that particular zone. Books and how to guides are not as affective as having a person with much knowledge leading the way.

More about this author: Maggie O'Cala

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