Banteay Meanchey: More than three hundred people were injured or killed (death numbers not clear) in the first 11 months of 2019, from snake bites.
There is concern that this could rise further as the harvest season approaches and people take to the fields, disturbing the reptiles in their habitat.
According to the data from Cambodia-Japan Friendship Hospital, Mongkol Borei and Thmor Puok District Referral Hospital, this year has seen the most cases of snake bites since 2013. Around one person a day has been treated in one of the hospitals.
Dr. Chan Vidina Navuth, director of the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Hospital in Cambodia, told the media that the hospital has had 152 cases of snake bites, most of the victims coming from the flood plains east and south of the province.
According to Dr Nim Phirum, head of Thmor Puok district referral hospital, said 151 people were hospitalized, with most of the cases coming from the highlands and the mountains in the east and west.
The snake venom included Hemotoxins (blood poisons that have cytotoxic effects and also disrupt normal blood coagulation processes) and Neurotoxins (which cause drowsiness, numbness, dizziness, headache, unconsciousness),
There were many species of snake recorded, such as vipers and cobras, along with no-deadly species including pythons.
According to the report, most of the snakes encountered were located on the banks of rivers, in the rice fields, under piles of grass/wood and cassava, and inside and outside of water jars.
Victims were often farmers, hunters and fishermen.
Dr. Chan Videvarovuth, as well as Dr. Nim Phirom, said that the Ministry of Health had provided antidotes for many species, for use when people were brought to the hospital for rescue, examination and treatment.
Some snakebite victims refused to seek medical services at first, preferring to use traditional healers.
Doctors have warned that victims must get to the hospital quickly, if they are to get a successful recovery.
Do not waste time going to a private clinic because anti-venom is available only at public hospitals. (*The article doesn’t say this, but pictures included seem to show that taking a dead specimen to the hospital would probably increase cahnces of getting the correct anti-venom).
(*) On the morning of December 5, 2019, a man harvesting rice in Banteay Chhmar commune, Thmor Puok district, Banteay Meanchey province was bitten.
The victim was named Lom Nheak, 50. He was taken to the hospital above.