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The World in Medicine
December 17, 2008

Snakebite Threat Probed

JAMA. 2008;300(23):2717. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.848

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).