The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One more note on snakebite as a global epidemic

As I said to our long-suffering friends at dinner, this weekend, here I go with another note about snakebite as a global disease, ignored by everybody except po' folks in the third world. The link is to a previous post of mine on this subject, and this one is just a quick update on one pair of numbers. Namely, the annual number of snakebite deaths officially stated to occur in Bangladesh (2000) and the actual likely number (46,000.)

The reason for this appalling difference is that those who report deaths in the underdeveloped world are typically urban doctors, and urban doctors in Bangladesh seldom see snakebite victims. However, rural snake charmers, who, according to a New Scientist article, treat bites by chanting mantras, see most of them, since the people most likely to get bitten are the rural folks, living way out in the countryside, and working in the fields. They a) can't easily get to any place with modern treatment, and b) are still partly convinced that the snake charmers are doing the right thing, anyway.

Found an even older post with a link to WHO's web site on snakebite.

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