Venomous Snake Bites: More Than 90 Million People Worldwide Are at High Risk

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Travelling to remote parts of the world this summer? Watch out for venomous snakes.

About 93 million people who live in remote areas where there are venomous snakes are at increased risk of dying from snake bites due to poor access to anti-venom medications, compared with people who live in more urban areas where there are venomous snakes. This is the conclusion of researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, whose research was published in The Lancet.

In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified snakebites as a “neglected tropical disease,” and in May 2018, WHO mandated development of a comprehensive plan to support countries in providing better access to treatment for people bitten by poisonous snakes. There are 278 species of poisonous snakes worldwide.

While the risk is relatively low in most of the United States, the University of Washington researchers identified the following countries as areas where fatal snake bites are a significant problem:

  • Benin
  • Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Ethiopia
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • South Sudan

Sourced from: The Lancet