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In the last two decades, more than one million Indians have been estimated to have suffered from snakebite.

India is one of the countries most affected by snakebite and accounts for about half of the total deaths in the world. Author of the article entitled & # 39;Trends in snake bite mortality in India from 2000 to 2019 in a nationally representative mortality study& # 39;
An earlier study analyzed 2,833 snakebite deaths from 611,483 oral autopsies.1 And conducted a systematic literature review covering 87,590 snake bites from 2000–2019.

The authors estimated that 1.2 million snakebite deaths (representing an average of 58,000 per year) in India from 2000 to 2019, with nearly half of victims aged 30–69 and a quarter having children under 15.

Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh (which includes the recently defined state of Telangana), Rajasthan and Gujarat states suffer 70% loss to people living in densely populated low altitude agricultural areas Was lying.
Deaths during the period 2001–2014, particularly during the rainy season when snakes and humans are frequently encountered at home and outside.

Russell's Viper (Daboya Rusali) (Figure 1), Crites (Bungarus Species) and cobras (Naja Species; Fig. 2) are among the most important biting snake species in India, yet other often unknown species also appear
a danger.


Figure 1: Russell Viper Figure 2: Cobra spotted in a field near one
(Source: David Williams / WHO) Agricultural worker. (Source: Ben Owens)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a goal of reducing the number of deaths due to snakebite by half by 2030, and India's efforts to prevent and control the disease will significantly affect this global goal.

"Since deaths are mainly limited to low altitude, intensely agricultural areas, during the same season of each year, this can make it easier to manage annual epidemics. The burden of India's tremendous snakebite is coming before us and we need to take action now."Said Romulus Whitaker of the Center for Herpetology / Madras Crocodile Bank. "Targeting these areas with education about simple methods, such as & # 39; snake-safe & # 39; cropping practices, wearing rubber boots and gloves and using rechargeable torches (or mobile phone flashlights), May reduce the risk of snakebite. "

Snakebite requires more nationwide epidemiological studies in endemic countries

Additional nationally representative studies as well as increased mapping resolution and multi-level data granularity, including both hospital-based mortality and morbidity, including data collected at the community level, more in other snakebite endemic countries Targeted and effective public health interventions are essential.

The authors also noted that the Government of India had officially declared snake bite deaths in public hospitals during the period 2003 to 2015 to only 15,500, while 154,000 snakebite deaths during this period by MDS by public and private hospitals. Was one-tenth.

"Our study has directly determined the population most affected by deadly snakebite in India. We showed that the total lifetime risk of being killed by snakebite is 1 in 250, but in some areas, the lifetime risk of 1 in 100 isPrabhat Jha told Prabhat Jha, director of the Center for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto, Canada. "Direct measurement of mortality at the local level is critical to achieving the WHO's global roadmap. "

To repair this gross under-reporting, the authors recommend the Government of India to designate and implement snake bite as ease notifiable disease within the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program. Accurate snake bite data are essential for the Indian government's strategy to reduce snake bite deaths.

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