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(2007; 4 pages)
Throughout the continent, snakes are feared and killed on sight even though most of them are harmless: venomous snakes bite humans only when they feel threatened (trodden upon accidentally). Despite this unfortunate relationship, snakes co-exist with humans in homes, gardens, outhouses, farms and forests, but their presence usually goes unnoticed.
This mistrust of snakes is understandable as they are responsible for numerous bites, deaths and permanent physical handicap each year. No country is free from the risk of snake bite. However, the exact burden of human suffering attributable to snake bites is difficult to determine because they occur most commonly in rural areas where the first impulse is to seek the help of a traditional healer rather than attend a hospital where attendance will be recorded and reported to a national authority...