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The World in Medicine |

Snakebite Threat Probed

Joan Stephenson, PhD
JAMA. 2008;300(23):2717. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.848.
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Although bites by venomous snakes are relatively common, especially in rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries where access to health care and antivenoms is limited, the extent of the problem has been unclear. Now, researchers in Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and England, using the most comprehensive methods to date, estimate that annual number of deaths caused by snakebites ranges from at least 20 000 to as many as 94 000 (Kasturiratne A et al. PLoS Med. 2008;5[11]:e218).

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snake bites

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New research indicates that bites by venomous snakes cause at least 20 000 and perhaps as many as 94 000 deaths worldwide each year.

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