Snake envenomation is a major public health issue in the rural tropics, but there is no accurate figure of incidence of snakebite. Few studies have looked at the epidemiology of venomous snakebite in Nepal.
Using data collection sheets, enumerators randomly sampled, visited, and interrogated 20% of the population from each district.
Of the 2,186 snakebite cases studied in two districts from April to September 2005, 66% were from Nawalparasi and 34% from Chitwan. 54% were males. 56% of patients consulted traditional healers. Most bites occurred in those 10–20 years of age and in those engaged in outdoor and agricultural (farmers) activities, but I should note that 15% occurred during sleep. Extremity bites accounted for 94%, with 66% in the lower extremities and 28% in the upper extremities. Of the total cases, 58% were non-envenomations and 42% were envenomations. Of the total venomous cases, 27% died; which is 12% of the total snakebites (2,186). The majority of bites occurred in the summer.
This epidemiological study vividly depicted the health hazards of snakebites in two areas of rural Nepal.
WHO2005. Blood Products and related Biologicals: Animal sera-Available from http://www.who.int/bloodproducts/ animal_sera/en
Shah KB, Shrestha JM, Thapa CL. Snakebite Management Guideline. HMG, Nepal, Ministry of Health, Department of Health Services, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Zoonoses Control Sub-section.2003;3.
Ministry of Health, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. HMG, Nepal. Incidence of Poisonous Snakebite in Nepal. Annual Report.2001;63–71.
Snake Bite: Over 100 die yearly in Nepal. The Rising Nepal, Katmandu. Feb. 01,2001. Available from http:// www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/trn/2001/feb/ feb01/local.htm
Bista MB, Banerjee MK, Thakur GD, Shrestha JM., Upadhyay PK, Bhandari R. Annual Report 2002 and 2003. Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. HMG, Ministry of Health,2005;58–64.
Devkota UN, Steinmann JP, Shah LN. Snakebite in Nepal; A study from Siraha District, Nepal.J. Nep. Med. Ass. 2000; 39(134):203–209.
Devkota UN, Steinmann JP, Kathayat JB. Epidemiology of Snakebite; A study from Choharwa Army Camp, Siraha, Nepal.J. Nep. Med. Ass. 2001;40(138):57–62.
Sharma SK, Chappuis F, Jha N, Bovier PA, Loutan L, Koirala S. Impact of Snake Bites and Determinants of Fatal Outcomes in Southeastern Nepal. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.2004;71(2):234–238.
Russell FE. Snake-venom Poisoning. Philadelphia, JB Lippincott Company.1980;235–285.
Snow RW. The Prevalence and Morbidity of Snakebite and Treatment-seeking Behaviour among a Rural Kenyan Population.Ann. Trop. Med. Parasitol. 1994;88:665–671.
Warrel DA. Venoms, Toxins and Poisons of animals and plants. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. In: Oxford Textbook of Medicine; Wealtherall DJ, Ledingham JGG, Warrell DA eds; Oxford University Press, Oxford.1996.
Hansdak SG, Lallar KS, Pokharel P, Shyangwa P, Karki P, Koirala SA. Clinicoepidemiological study of snakebite in Nepal.Tropical Doctor 1998;28:223–226.
Funding provided by the University Grant Commission, New Baneshwor.
About this article
Cite this article
Pandey, D.P. Epidemiology of snakebites based on field survey in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts, Nepal. J. Med. Toxicol. 3, 164–168 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160933