Saturday, October 16, 2021

Snake Season is back!

The Poison Information Helpline of the Western Cape (PIHWC) has urged citizens to pay close attention while enjoying outdoor activities, as snake season is upon us.

October to April is snakebite season, and as temperatures increase, snakes become more active.

According to the PIHWC, most snakes found in South Africa are harmless and beneficial in the ecosystem. Snakes are usually not aggressive and will only bite when provoked. Snake bites usually occur when a snake is frightened, feels endangered and is forced to react in self-defence.

PIHWC says it received 1 411 calls regarding snakebites, during a five-year period (1 June 2015 – 31 May 2020)

“3% of our calls were related to snakebites (51 704), as most calls involved poisoning exposures to pharmaceuticals (28 418) and non-drug chemicals (25 396). During the same period, 774 calls were received concerning spider bites and 858 concerning scorpion stings,” said Dr Carine Marks, Director of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre.

The PIHWC is a 24-hour service provided jointly by the Tygerberg Poisons Information Centre and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Poisons Information Centre.

The public, as well as health workers can contact the PIHWC at 0861 555 777.

Done by: Yandisa Qwabe

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