The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently launched a new website dedicated to cutting down the estimated 100,000 deaths caused by envenomation by deadly snakes. In addition to deaths caused by being bitten by venomous snakes WHO estimates there are upwards of 2.5 million people who are maimed by being bitten. Even if one doesn’t die from being envenomed you might have to contend with a host of other issues including:
- Paralysis caused by neurotoxic venom
- Hemorrhaging caused by hemotoxic venom
- Kidney failure
- Tissue damage caused by necrosis which can lead to amputation of the effected limb
Needless to say being bitten by a venomous snake is a serious matter. Often we like to compare which snake is the deadliest in terms of how potent their venom is but any venomous snake has the potential to kill a person. In first world nations such as the United States medical care is usually available very rapidly and getting people the antivenins needed is relatively simple. However in third world and developing nations they often don’t have the resources, knowledge, or finances to provide the required treatments to victims of snake bites. This new WHO database will be used to assist medical professionals and others all over the world in saving lives.
You can read more about the database at the official WHO venom database.