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Abstract

COMMON POISONOUS SNAKES OF INDIA - A REVIEW

Sourabh Sulabh and Pushp Raj Shivahre*

ABSTRACT

Among the creatures on Earth, snakes surely are the most widely feared and avoided. In India, particularly, they should be among the most widely respected and appreciated, because they do essential job of rodent control; so that the government introduced a ban on trade in snake skins. There are about 236 species of snakes in India, most of which are nonpoisonous. Their bites, apart from causing panic reaction and local injury, do not kill or even harm the patient. But 13 known species among them are poisonous and of these four, namely common cobra (Naja naja), common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), Russell’s viper (Dabiola russelii) and saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus) are highly venomous and believed to be responsible for most of the poisonous bites in India. In the whole of India, with its near-1.2 billion population, of the approximately one million people bitten by snakes each year and only 1 in 20 dies. Even those figures don’t represent the tangible threat, because a fair percentage of people die more from fear and conviction that they will die than from the venom itself. Bites from a venomous snake can produce a number of symptoms which includes swelling and localized pain and can become extended upto convulsions, vomiting, and even paralysis. First aid steps one can take after a snake bite occurs include cleaning the wound, not making any rapid body movement, remaining calm and immobilizing the affected area.

Keywords: Bite, management, snake, venom.


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