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Snakebite

The meaning of «snakebite»

A snakebite is an injury caused by the bite of a snake, especially a venomous snake.[6] A common sign of a bite from a venomous snake is the presence of two puncture wounds from the animal's fangs.[1] Sometimes venom injection from the bite may occur.[3] This may result in redness, swelling, and severe pain at the area, which may take up to an hour to appear.[1][2] Vomiting, blurred vision, tingling of the limbs, and sweating may result.[1][2] Most bites are on the hands, arms, or legs.[2][7] Fear following a bite is common with symptoms of a racing heart and feeling faint.[2] The venom may cause bleeding, kidney failure, a severe allergic reaction, tissue death around the bite, or breathing problems.[1][3] Bites may result in the loss of a limb or other chronic problems.[3] The outcome depends on the type of snake, the area of the body bitten, the amount of venom injected, and the general health of the person bitten.[5] Problems are often more severe in children than adults, due to their smaller size.[3][8][9]

Snakes administer bites, both as a method of hunting, and as a means of protection.[10] Risk factors for bites include working outside with one's hands such as in farming, forestry, and construction.[1][3] Snakes commonly involved in envenomations include elapids (such as kraits, cobras and mambas), vipers, and sea snakes.[4] The majority of snake species do not have venom and kill their prey by squeezing them.[2] Venomous snakes can be found on every continent except Antarctica.[10] Determining the type of snake that caused a bite is often not possible.[4] The World Health Organization says snakebites are a "neglected public health issue in many tropical and subtropical countries",[9] and in 2017, WHO categorized snakebite envenomation as a Neglected Tropical Disease (Category A). The WHO also estimates that between 4.5 to 5.4 million people are bitten each year, and of those figures 40-50% develop some kind of clinical illness as a result.[11] Furthermore the death roll of such an injury could range between 80,000 and 130,000 people per year.[12][13] The purpose was to encourage research, expand accessibility of antivenoms, and improve snakebite management in "developing countries".[14]

Prevention of snake bites can involve wearing protective footwear, avoiding areas where snakes live, and not handling snakes.[1] Treatment partly depends on the type of snake.[1] Washing the wound with soap and water and holding the limb still is recommended.[1][4] Trying to suck out the venom, cutting the wound with a knife, or using a tourniquet is not recommended.[1] Antivenom is effective at preventing death from bites; however, antivenoms frequently have side effects.[3][15] The type of antivenom needed depends on the type of snake involved.[4] When the type of snake is unknown, antivenom is often given based on the types known to be in the area.[4] In some areas of the world getting the right type of antivenom is difficult and this partly contributes to why they sometimes do not work.[3] An additional issue is the cost of these medications.[3] Antivenom has little effect on the area around the bite itself.[4] Supporting the person's breathing is sometimes also required.[4]

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