Why are parasites so dangerous?

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    Not all parasites are extremely dangerous.  The definition of a parasite is a creature that feeds off another but contributes nothing.  Beginning with this defintion, there is nothing inherently dangerous about parasites.  

    Mosquitos and ticks, for example, can be potentially dangerous, but are usually just a nuisance.  Mistletoe is another innocuous parasite.  This parasite is instrumental in maintaining the health of the ecosystem which it inhabits.  The assumption that parasites are generally dangerous is simply inaccurate.  Like every other type of animal on the planet, some are more dangerous than others.

    That said, some parasites are dangerous.  The same bothersome mosquito mentioned above could potentially carry malaria, dengue fever, or west Nile virus.  Tapeworms and other internal parasitic life forms can be particularly unpleasant to humans, but even from these varieties, death is extremely uncommon.  The level of danger associated with the creature would vary, then, from parasite to parasite.

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