Planning a walk in the Veld this weekend?

Findings released this week from an international study claim that DNA samples taken from snake bites can positively identfy the type of snake which bit the victim.

In fact, experts found that if snake DNA could be detected on swabs taken from fang marks on victims, the species of snake could be pinpointed every time!

While the study was originally coonducted on Nepalese snakebite victims, these findings will come as reassuring news to citizens of countries like South Africa, home to a number of highly venomous snakes.

While there are no reliable numbers on global snakebite incidents being correlated, it is thought many snake bites go unreported due to lack of information.

According to Johan Marais, CEO of the African Snakebite Institute, there are between 6000 and 7000 snakebites across the Southern African region per year - of which 10 to 15% require anitvenom.

Most doctors perscribe anitvenom according to the victim's symptoms but this DNA swab could potentially negate the guesswork.

The research team is currently developing a rapid diagnostic "dip-stick" test similar to a pregnancy test that could be used to rule out certain common venomous snakes and help physicians more quickly decide the best course of treatment.

It is effective, but we have to be realistic - it is highly expensive.

Johan Marais

It is thought a simple swab test would be easy to administer in rural healthcare settings with limited resources. Accoring to Marais, the catch would then be the availability of the antivenom - distributed primarily to only a few hospitals.

Listen to Xolani's full interview with Johan Marais, CEO of the African Snakebite Institute. He shares detailed insights into the different types of venomous snakes which predominantly occur in South Africa...

Johan Marais advises that if


This article first appeared on 702 : Planning a walk in the Veld this weekend?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

President Zuma went 'off script' on Friday when he castigated his detractors saying many denied being on the 101 stalwarts list.

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

In 2009 Carl Niehaus was forced to step down as ANC national spokesperson after fraud allegations surfaced.

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

A throwback to Floyd Shivambu talking about Helen Zille during his ANCYL days, interrogated by Redi Tlhabi in 2009. #FarewellRedi

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

Are you a survivor of sexual violence? SMS “endrape” to 38006

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Brian Tlhabi says his wife, Redi Tlhabi makes him super happy and continues to wish her the best with her future endeavours.

[LISTEN] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

[LISTEN] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

The chilling call Henri van Breda made to emergency services on the night his mother, father and big brother were hacked to death.

Popular articles
We're not just cyclists - CT man turns punch-up with driver into safety message

We're not just cyclists - CT man turns punch-up with driver into safety message

He was punched in the face by a motorist last week and tracked the driver down for a meet-up, instead of laying charges.

[WATCH] The spectacular moment AB de Villiers bent the laws of physics

[WATCH] The spectacular moment AB de Villiers bent the laws of physics

The world now knows never to underestimate the athletic form of SA cricketer AB de Villiers after this gravity-defying catch.

[LISTEN] Dailene, the lady behind the video from Thursday's heist in Boksburg

[LISTEN] Dailene, the lady behind the video from Thursday's heist in Boksburg

Another heist was carried out in Boksburg on Thursday morning and led to five people being arrested.

Health Minister proposes scrapping of medical aid co-payments

Health Minister proposes scrapping of medical aid co-payments

The eradication of medical aid co-payments is one of a number of changes to the medical aid scheme proposed by Aaron Motsoaledi.

SANDF soldier arrested for robbery on trial for attempted murder

SANDF soldier arrested for robbery on trial for attempted murder

Operations chief, General Barney Hlatshwayo's personal driver was arrested on Tuesday.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.