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  • Geoff Scully

A "Hidden Epidemic"

According to the World Health Organization snakebites are out of control. The hope is that, with newly announced funding from a British trust, better access to anti-venom and related treatment will save many lives worldwide by the year 2030. But what's astounding is the numbers, as quoted in an AP article in the WSJ, of May, 24, 2019. They say that "potentially poisonous" snakes bite almost three million people a year in the world. And that the death toll is as high as 138,000 ! I'd did a literary double-take on reading those numbers, envisioning the mass of humanity seen when the camera pans Yankee Stadium filled with 45,000 baseball fans and trying to digest the idea that three times that many are killed by snakes every year. Snakes! I'm amazed by the number. Two or three thousand deaths worldwide seems possible to me, but not 138,000. Perhaps humanity's common innate fear of snakes evolved for good reasons after all.

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