The World Health Organization has created a website for people to find information about the most dangerous snakes in the world. The site indicates that there are 600 venomous snakes in the world, and 200 of those are “medically important,” meaning they are known to cause “high levels of morbidity, disability or mortality.” The second category lists snakes that cause the same problems, but not as often, or because there is less data about the injuries and/or deaths they cause. The information on the site was compiled from reference texts and scientific journals.
Within the database, you can search by region, and then sub-region. For example, if I select the Americas, and then select Caribbean, a list of about seven venomous snakes displays, with thumbnail images to the left of the snake names. Click a thumbnail and then you will see a page just for that snake. I clicked St. Lucia Pitviper, and on the page for that snake is information such as alternate names, geographical range, and most importantly the name of an antivenom, BothrovFAV. The page indicates also the antivenoms’ manufacturer Sanofi-Pasteur. The site is also searchable by type of snake, and antivenom product.
Why are antivenoms important? Antivenoms can prevent death, and injury to people who have been bitten by poisonous snakes.
Image Credit: Caver Scott