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Although snake bite envenomation is considered as a medical emergency with significant morbidity and mortality, accurate figures on snakebite envenomation remains scarce. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the snakebite epidemiology in Sarpang District located in the subtropical zone of southern Bhutan. In this study, 78 snakebite cases treated in Gelephu Referral Hospital over a period of three years from 2013 to 2015 were evaluated based on the statistical record maintained by the medical administration. Twenty-eight (35.89%) cases developed signs and symptoms of envenomation and the remaining 50 (64.01%) were found to be cases of non-venomous bites. Forty-four males and 34 females were found to be affected by snakebites within the period. While snakebites were observed in all age groups, the large majority (n=51, 65.38%) were in adults aged between 21 and 50 years. Most of the venomous bites (68%) occurred during the monsoon season, particularly between May and August. It was found that adults in the economically productive age group were the ones most affected by poisonous bites. There is an urgent need for development and adoption of snakebite management guidelines and awareness among the vulnerable sections of the population, improvement of medical facilities in referral hospitals and rural health centres, and reduction of the morbidity and mortality associated with snakebites.
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