Main Article Content
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.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2722.214.171.12453-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Alirol, E., S.K. Sharma, H.S. Bawaskar, U. Kuch & F. Chappuis (2010). Snake bite in south Asia: a review. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4(1): e603; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000603
Ariaratnam, C.A., M.H. Sheriff, R.D. Thomaston & D.A. Warrell (2008). Distinctive epidemiologic and clinical features of Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus) bites in Sri Lanka. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 79: 458â€“462.
Chippaux, J.P. (1998). Snake bites: appraisal of the global situation. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 76(5): 515â€“524.
Das, I. (2012). A Naturalistâ€™s Guide to the Snakes of southeast Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176pp.
Holve, S. (2007). Envenomations, pp. 2932â€“2935. In: Behrman, R.E., R.M. Kliegman, H.B. Jenson & B.F. Stanton (eds.). Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th Edition. W.B. Saunders Company, 3200pp.
Joshi, D.D. (2010). An epidemiological study of snake bite cases in children of Nepal. journal of the Nepal Paediatric Society 30(3): 135â€“140.
Kasturiratne, A., A.R. Wickremasinghe, N. de Silva, N.K. Gunawardena & A. Pathmeswaran (2008). The global burden of snakebite: a literature analysis and modelling based on regional estimates of envenoming and deaths. PloS Med 5(11): 218; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050218
National Statistics Bureau (2016). Statistical Yearbook of Bhutan. Royal Government of Bhutan. Kuensel Corporation Ltd., Thimphu, vi+325pp.
Pandey, D.P. (2006). Epidemiology of snake bites based on hospital survey in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council 4(2): 51â€“57.
Pincheira-Donoso D., A.M. Bauer, S. Meiri & P. Uetz (2013). Global taxonomic diversity of living reptiles. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59741; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059741
Pore, S.M., S.J. Ramanand, P.T. Patil, A.D. Gore, M.P. Pawar, S.L. Gaidhankar & R.R. Ghanghas (2015). A retrospective study of use of polyvalent anti-snake venom and risk factors for mortality from snake bite in a tertiary care setting. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 47(3): 270â€“274; httsp://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.157117
Poudyal, V.P., K.M. Paudel, N.B. Rana & S. Adhikari (2016). A hospital based study on snake bite poisoning in adults in the western region of Nepal. Journal of Chitwan Medical College 6(3): 33â€“38; https://doi.org/10.3126/jcmc.v6i3.16697
Suleman, M.M., S. Shahab & M.A. Rab (1998). Snake bite in the Thar Ddesert. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association 48(10): 306â€“308.
Wangyal, J.T. & D.B. Gurung (2017). Reptiles of Bhutan, pp. 39â€“55. In: Katel, O. & D.B. Gurung (eds.). An Introduction to the Biodiversity of Bhutan in the Context of Climate Change and Economic Development. Centre for Rural Development Studies, College of Natural Resources, Lobesa, Punakha, 200pp.
Warrell, D.A. (2010). Guidelines for the Management of Snake-bites. World Health Organization, Regional Office for Southern East Asia, Indraprastha Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi, vii+162pp.