Eight-Year-Old Deepak experienced a miraculous survival after he was attacked by a venomous snake in the remote Pandarpadh village in the central Chhattisgarh region. It’s reported the cobra latched onto him while playing outside his family home and wound its body around his arm, before biting down to inject its deadly poison.
In India, snakebites are exceedingly common. A study recently published show that over 85% of snakebite death recorded in 2019 occurred in the country.
Battling through the pain, it’s said that Deepak angrily shook his arm but couldn’t get off the reptile. He eventually decided to give the attacker its own medicine and viciously sank his teeth into its body, killing the animal. The Jashpur district where Deepak had his tussle with the cobra is known to have over 200 species of snake in the region.
In the aftermath of the bite, Deepak’s parents rushed him to a nearby medical center where he was kept under observation to ensure he would recover.
An examination of his injury led doctors to discover that he sustained a dry bite, meaning the cobra didn’t release any venom. Reportedly, dry bites are often administered by adult snakes who have full control over the deployment of venom from their glands. Snakes use venom to kill their prey or when in a battle with dangerous predators, so dry bites are often delivered when a snake is trying to warn or scare off animals rather than kill them.
“The snake got wrapped around my hand and bit me. I was in great pain. As the reptile didn’t budge when I tried to shake it off, I bit it hard twice. It all happened in a flash,” Deepak told The New Indian Express.
Another recent study has found that of the 63,000 people estimated to have died from snakebites in 2019, 51,000 were killed in India. A snake expert spoke on Deepak’s tussle with The New Indian Express, stating: “Deepak didn’t show any symptoms and recovered fast owing to the dry bite when the poisonous snake strikes but no venom is released.
90% of snakebites in India come from four species including the Indian cobra, the krait, Russell’s viper, and the sawscaled viper.
Researchers from James Cook University in Queensland have said they do not believe the World Health Organization’s goal of halving the number of deaths from snakebites by 2030 will be achieved. They pointed to poor access to antivenom in poor, rural areas as one of the main factors. With India being first, the region of sub-Saharan Africa is second, with Nigeria having snake-bite deaths of about 1,460.