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Snake-bite incidents on the rise across Andhra Pradesh

Published: 18th July 2013 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2013 10:22 AM   |  A+A-

With the onset of monsoon the incidents of snake-bites in and around the city is on the rise with around five cases of snake-bites being reported daily since the last two weeks at Gandhi Hospital alone.

‘’Usually during rainy season four to five snake-bites cases a week come to the hospital but this time five cases of snake-bites are being reported everyday, which is very unusual,’’ doctors at Gandhi Hospital’s Acute Medical Care said. Poisonous snake-bites are medical emergencies and need immediate attention. The right anti-venom can save a person’s life, they said and added that even if a snake is not venomous, the bite can be exceptionally painful. Besides being painful, a snake-bite from a non-venomous snake can also become infected.

“Most of the snake-bite cases are being reported from Medak, Siddipet and Uppal areas. Though most of the snake-bite victims are discharged in a day or two but some are of critical nature and are being treated at the ICU,’’ they said.

Usually, during July, August and September  months more number of snake-bites incidents are reported but the hospital has never witnessed so many cases during monsoon in the past, they said. Most of the victims coming from Medak and Siddipet are being  bitten by cobras and kraits, they added.

In 2012 around 26,862 cases of snake-bites were reported in the state of which 135 persons died. The highest number of snake- bites were reported from Chittoor district. Around 3,842 cases of snake-bites incidents were reported from the district in 2011. Last year the figure came down to 1,142 cases.

In Ranga Reddy district around 282 cases of snake-bites were reported in 2012 and about 7 people died of snake-bite in the district. Mahbubnagar district has highest number of snake-bite deaths in the state. In the year 2011 around 32 and in 2012, 10 people died of snake-bite in the district.

According to Friends of Snakes Society chief co-ordinator CV Vivesh, reptiles get displaced from their natural habitat following heavy rains. They try to take shelter in airy and dry places like thick wild shrubs, trees, flower pots, garden hedges and buildings where they also find insects to feed. Moreover, monsoon season is also the breeding season for reptiles and during this period they become very active and get provoked very easily, he said.

The symptoms of a venomous bite are the puncture wounds, swelling and pain, and possibly nausea followed by vomiting. Other symptoms include difficulty in breathing and swallowing. If the victim turns out to be especially allergic or if too much venom gets into the system, symptoms could also include weakness, loss of colour in the face and discoloration around the area of the bite, he said.

“All venomous snakes are born fully equipped with venom and fangs.Young snakes are more pugnacious and ready to defend themselves, so one should not discount a snake going by its size,’’ he cautioned.

India has the largest number of reported venomous bites, about 80,000 a year with 11,000 deaths. About 13 species of snakes in Andhra Pradesh can lead to symptoms.

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