Deadly snakebites neglected in South Asia where nearly 70% of global deaths occur

A venomous spectacled cobra, also known as Indian cobra (Naja Naja) or white cobra, is seen at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden in Ahmedabad on Jan 30, 2019.
A venomous spectacled cobra, also known as Indian cobra (Naja Naja) or white cobra, is seen at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden in Ahmedabad on Jan 30, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI - Ms Haripriya Kalichetty, a 20-year-old student, always enjoyed walking around the family farm. On the afternoon of Dec 18 last year, she took a regular stroll through a field covered with waist-high grass meant for animal fodder. All of a sudden she felt a sharp sting on her left foot, followed almost immediately by bleeding. She did not know what bit her.

Worried, Ms Kalichetty's parents lost no time in rushing her to a doctor near their village in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. He failed to identify the provenance of the bite, and advised that she be taken to the nearest government hospital where it was diagnosed as a snakebite.

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