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In much of the world, the threat posed by snake bites is huge. Every year, around 5 million people are bitten by snakes, and if those bites don't result in death, they sometimes lead to paralysis, kidney failure, or amputations. Annually, an estimated 3,000 amputations have to be made because of snake bites, according to the World Health Organization.

Properly administered anti-venom should keep these numbers down, but in many places, it doesn't work that way. In Asia and Africa, where the threat of snake bites is most pronounced, anti-venom products are shooting up in price, or out of production altogether.

To ensure the anti-venom products that are available are put to use in areas that need them most, and on bites from the most venomous snakes, the World Health Organization has developed an online snake database. Treehugger has more on the guide:

The World Health Organization's database was created "to enable users to easily identify the most important venomous snakes in their country, territory or area; see the distributions of each species; and find information about antivenom products for treating envenoming caused by their bites." How this will benefit anyone other than doctors isn't clear, since the areas where a lack of anti-venom and number of annual snake bites is the most problematic are poor rural areas where access to a computer and internet to peruse the database is unlikely.
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To read more, visit Treehugger.

Photo (cc) by Flicrk user lucaboldrini69 via Treehugger\n

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