An imported serum antidote to counter bites from green mamba snakes, which originate in Africa, is now available in Thailand, following the well-publicized escape of a number of the snakes during the floods.
None of the venomous snakes has been reported in Pattaya or surrounding areas, but in Bangkok there is some concern.
Thailand’s health minister Wittaya Buranasiri said the serum had been ordered after 15 poisonous green mamba snakes, with body lengths of 1-2 meters, had reportedly escaped via floodwater from a house in Nonthaburi province.
No one has yet been reported as having been bitten by the snakes.
If a snake bites a person and the victim is unsure whether or not the bite is dangerous, study of the fang marks is advised.
Poisonous snakes leave one or two fang holes, while harmless snakes leave only teeth marks or signs of laceration and bruising without holes.
The public health ministry currently reserves 3,500 bottles of seven kinds of serum especially for use during flooding situations according to the types of snakes commonly found in each part of the country – the cobra, king cobra, banded krait, Malayan krait, Siamese Russell's viper, Malayan pit viper and green pit viper.
The ministry's permanent secretary Dr Paichit Varachit said the green pit viper is found countrywide. Its body is smaller and shorter than the green mamba, while its poison harms a victim's blood causing pain and swollen bruises.
The poison from the green mamba affects a human's nervous system, leading to death.
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