'Treat snake bite like a disease'

Oct 20, 2013, 02:42 IST | Agencies

David Warrell, international director at the Royal College of Physicians, warns the bite of a serpent is underestimated in India

Kolkata: In the so-called ‘land of snakes and snakes charmers’, a bite of the serpent is not taken seriously. But did you know there are around 83,000 snakebites per annum in the country with 11,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Pic for representation only

And, co-operation between herpetologists, physicians and anti-venom manufacturers is necessary for timely help, according to David Warrell, international director at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

Warell highlighted that snakebites should be treated as a disease. “The issue of snake bites in India is grossly underestimated," said Warrell, who spoke at the Medicon International 2013 organised by RCP in collaboration with Peerless Hospital and BK Roy Foundation in Kolkata.

Warrell, whose research interests have largely focused on malaria, rabies and snakebite, also pointed out that most city doctors are caught off-guard while addressing the huge number of snake bites in rural areas. "When they go to villages they are caught unaware and are overwhelmed with the incidences," said Warrell.

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