• As cobras and vipers spread their deadly venom, it's getting harder to

    From Prince Fedora@21:1/5 to All on Tue Sep 29 03:21:50 2015
    XPost: misc.immigration.usa, sac.politics, alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
    XPost: soc.culture.african.american

    Fuck those savages.

    In the late 1970s, a 50-year-old farmer was working in his
    fields in the Hausa region of west Africa when was he was bitten
    on the ankle by a snake, probably a carpet viper. Within two
    hours his leg was badly swollen. The unnamed man, whose case is
    included in a report by a group of doctors led by Oxford
    University tropical medicine specialist David Warrell took
    herbal medicine but continued to sicken. Six days later he was
    taken to hospital, where doctors found that his urine was
    bloodstained and he had suffered intense internal haemorrhages.
    A day later, he died.

    The farmer’s fate was grim, if not uncommon at the time, but
    now, decades later, deaths from snakebites are still on the
    rise. Recent evidence shows that hundreds of thousands of
    individuals are dying every year as a result of encounters with
    cobras, vipers or kraits.

    It is estimated that a resurgence of the scourge of snakebites
    in Africa and Asia could soon account for a quarter of million
    deaths every year. In the past, deaths from snakebites have been
    poorly reported and the extent of the crisis underestimated.
    However, doctors in India recently carried out a detailed survey
    and discovered that around 46,000 people in the country died
    from snakebites every year. Official statistics had suggested
    that the figure was only around 1,000. Similarly in Bangladesh,
    a detailed survey revealed that the annual snakebite death toll
    there was around 6,000.

    “These two sets of figures are significant, for they suggest the
    estimate made by a World Health Organisation-sponsored study
    that snakes kill around 100,000 people a year across the globe
    may be a serious underestimate,” said Warrell. “After all, we
    now know that more than 50,000 men, women and children are dying
    in India and Bangladesh from snakebites each year – and that
    figure is coming from just two nations. We also know that
    countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo have enormous
    numbers of venomous snakes but provide no reliable data of any
    kind about snakebite deaths within their borders. So I would say
    it is more likely that 200,000 or possibly more deaths a year
    are caused by snakes across the globe.”

    In developing countries struggling to cope with HIV, malaria,
    tuberculosis and other diseases, the problem posed by growing
    numbers of bites by venomous snakes – examples include the
    carpet viper and the spectacled cobra – is particularly

    “The trouble is that many nations have no real knowledge of how
    bad the problem is within their borders,” added Warrell. This
    point is backed by the United Nations, which has described
    snakebites as “a neglected threat to public health”.

    It is not just the death rate from snakebites that is raising
    concerns. As Warrell also pointed out, many people survive bites
    from snakes, but often at a terrible price. “Victims, who are
    often agricultural workers, lose legs or arms or fingers and can
    no longer hold down their jobs. Children’s limbs become
    gangrenous after being bitten by snakes and have to be
    amputated. They are blighted for life as a result. Girls have
    their marriage prospects ruined. The price of surviving a
    snakebite is often terrible.”

    Lorenzo Savioli, a former director of the World Health
    Organisation’s department for the control of neglected tropical
    diseases, said: “Snakebites cause severe disability, bring
    misery to families and kill thousands of people. We need to act
    effectively to control the problem.”

    Dealing with snakebites is likely to grow harder in the next few
    years, because existing stocks of the important antivenom Fav-
    Afrique, made by UK-based Sanofi Pasteur , will expire next
    June. The company stopped producing the antivenom last year. “We
    are now facing a real crisis,” said Gabriel Alcoba, snakebite
    adviser to Doctors Without Borders.

    Pharmaceuticals companies in South Africa, India, Mexico and
    Costa Rica are working on replacement antivenoms, but these have
    yet to be tested or marketed and may take years to be ready for
    widespread use. “None of the possible successors to Fav-Afrique
    have yet been adequately tested,” added Warrell.

    Scientists say a handful of species are the main culprits for
    soaring snakebite deaths in the developing world. These include
    carpet vipers, spitting cobras and puff adders in Africa and
    spectacled cobras, common kraits, Russell’s vipers and saw-
    scaled vipers in India and south-east Asia. In most cases the
    creatures kill by injecting a toxin that either causes serious
    internal bleeding or paralysis. When they bite their natural
    prey – rats or mice, for example – this kills them almost
    instantly. Humans, being bigger, can take much longer to
    succumb. But as veins and arteries leak, and serious internal
    bleeding takes place, death can come within days.

    However, these are not necessarily the world’s most venomous
    snakes. The venom of the black mamba is more toxic than that of
    the carpet viper, for example. But the former rarely comes into
    contract within humans. By contrast, the carpet viper is often
    found in fields and undergrowth.

    “Farm workers stand on them or startle them and get bitten,”
    said Warrell. “Obviously, antivenom is a crucial part of any
    treatment. But just acknowledging the problem and its extent
    would be a major breakthrough. Simple preventive measures could
    then be introduced. Providing farm workers with boots would be
    an enormous help, for example. They usually work in bare feet,
    and that is where most get bitten.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/26/snakebites- kill-hundreds-of-thousands-worldwide

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