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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 151-154

The North-South divide in snake bite envenomation in India


1 Department of Medicine, Dr. RPGMC, Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Dr. RPGMC, Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Chauhan
Department of Medicine, Dr. RPGMC, Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.193350

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Snake bite envenomations are common in rural areas and the incidence peaks during monsoons in India. Prominent venomous species have been traditionally labeled as the 'big four' that includes Cobra, Krait, Russel's viper and Saw scaled viper. Systematic attempts for identification and classification of prevalent snakes in various states of India are missing till now and there is no concrete data on this aspect. The published literature however shows that some species of snakes are more prevalent in a particular region than the other parts of India e.g. Saw scaled vipers in Rajasthan. We reviewed the published literature from various parts of India and found that there is a North-South divide in the snake bite profile from India. Neurotoxic envenomations are significantly higher in North India compared to South India where Hematotoxic envenomations are prevalent. Russel's viper causes local necrosis, gangrene and compartment syndrome. These manifestations have never been reported in North Indian snake bite profile in the published literature. Early morning neuroparalysis caused by Krait is a common problem in North India leading to high mortality after snake bite. This review presents supporting evidence for the North-South divide and proposes a way forward in formulation and revision of guidelines for snake bite in India.


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