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Cobra bites 8-year-old Indian boy; he bites back twice, killing it

By NICK GARCIA Published Nov 03, 2022 4:37 pm Updated Nov 03, 2022 5:31 pm

History repeats itself indeed.

In Turkey last August, a snake bit a two-year-old girl, prompting her to return the favor and kill it in the process. In India, this time around, a snake bit an eight-year-old boy, forcing him to bite back—and bite back hard.

Local newspaper The Tribune reported that the boy, identified as Deepak, was playing in their backyard in Pandrapath village of Chhattisgarh state in central India—when an Indian cobra appeared out of nowhere, wrapped itself around his hand, and bit him.

Deepak only tried to shake the reptile off at first, but since it won't let go, he gave it a taste of its own medicine—twice—leading to its death.

"It all happened in a flash," Deepak is quoted as saying. The boy also noted that he was in "great pain."

Deepak was rushed to the hospital promptly for antivenom. He underwent a day-long observation and was already discharged.

He recovered fast as the snakebite was dry, meaning no venom was released, The New Indian Express reported.

"Such snakebites are painful and may show only local symptoms around the area of bite,” The New Indian Express quoted Qaiser Hussain, local snake expert, as saying.

Cobra venom contains neurotoxins, which act against the nervous system of a prey, especially small vertebrates and even other snakes. It also affects breathing and may cause a heart attack.

Bites, particularly from larger cobra species, can be fatal depending on the amount of venom injected. Antivenom must be administered as soon as possible.

The Indian cobra, which attacked Deepak, is found in parts of Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The snake, ranging between 1.25 and 1.75 meters (4.1 and 5.7 feet), has a dozen species, some of which deliver venom through spitting instead of biting.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that about 5.4 million people worldwide are bitten by snakes annually. Some 2.7 million of the cases are from venomous species.

About 81,000 to 138,000 people die of snakebites each year. Thrice the number results in amputations, paralyses, and other permanent disabilities.

In the event that a suspected venomous snake bites somebody—and the victim cannot be rushed to the hospital just yet for antivenom—the WHO advises the public to:

  • Immediately move away from the area where the bite occurred;
  • Remove anything tight from around the bitten part of the body to avoid harm if swelling occurs;
  • Reassure the victim, as most venomous snakebites do not cause immediate death;
  • Immobilize the person completely and transport the person to a health facility as soon as possible;
  • Applying pressure at the bite site with a pressure pad may be suitable in some cases;
  • Avoid traditional first aid methods or herbal medicines;
  • Paracetamol may be given for local pain (which can be severe);
  • Vomiting may occur, so place the person on their left side in the recovery position; and
  • Closely monitor airway and breathing and be ready to resuscitate if necessary.