Bites from venomous animals
Snake, scorpion and spider bites are a significant health issue in certain parts of the planet. They particularly affect the population in rural, isolated areas of Africa, Asia, Central America and South America. Agricultural workers and children tend to be most affected.
The type of venom varies between different species, and can have different effects on the body. Neurological and muscular effects are common, as well as changes to coagulation.
The risk to travellers is low as long as the proper preventative measures are followed.
Wear long-sleeved clothes and closed shoes with socks.
Do not put your hands in thick vegetation, under stones or in holes.
Sleep with a mosquito net. Use a lamp when moving around at night.
Check your bed before going to sleep, inspect and shake clothes and shoes before using them, check spaces such as sinks and toilets.
Recommendations for the bite of a poisonous animal
Wash the wound with soap and water.
Do not suck or handle the wound.
Do not move the area and apply a tight bandage.
It is very important to attend a healthcare centre as soon as possible, to assess whether antidotes are needed, especially in case of a snake bite. The most serious cases may require hospitalisation for intensive monitoring and support treatment, including respiratory support.