September 4, 2009

Risk of death from shark attack small

People have a greater chance of dying from a bee sting or eating peanuts than they do from being attacked by a shark, a Texas scientist said.

When you consider all of the millions of people in the water all over the world at any given moment, the number of shark attacks is really extremely minute, said Andre Landry, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University.

So far this year, just 40 shark attacks have been reported worldwide with no fatalities, Landry said in a release Friday. Sharks usually attack people when a food source, such as fish or seals, also happen to be nearby, he said.

Surfers, for example, look like seals riding the waves, Landry said.

Some 50 to 100 people die each year from bee stings while an estimated 100 people die annually from an allergic reaction to peanuts, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation said.

If you use good common sense while you're at the ocean, you should have no worries at all about a shark attack, Landry said.