It took lions and tigers and bears to frighten the "Wizard of Oz" characters, but today those fears might very well be brought on by spiders, insects, hornets, wasps and bees.
They were the source of more than half - 54 percent - of the nearly 6.5 million injuries from the animal kingdom that sent Americans to the ER in a recent five-year span. Dog bites accounted for 26 percent of animal-inflicted injuries. Overall, just 3 percent of those injured by animals required hospitalization (mostly for bites from venomous snakes and lizards), and only 0.02 percent died, but nearly all of the animal encounters (97 percent) resulted in injuries to multiple parts of the body.
The findings, based on information from a national ER database and covering 2010 through 2014, were published in the journal Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open. The data analysis also showed that health-care costs stemming from animal-related injuries totaled $5.96 billion in that span, or nearly $1.2 billion a year, not including doctor fees, outpatient clinic charges, rehabilitation costs or money lost from not being able to work.