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The World Health Organization call to halve global snakebite deaths by 2030 will require substantial progress in India. We analyzed 2833 snakebite deaths from 611,483 verbal autopsies in the nationally representative Indian Million Death Study from 2001 to 2014, and conducted a systematic literature review from 2000 to 2019 covering 87,590 snakebites. We estimate that India had 1.2 million snakebite deaths (average 58,000/year) from 2000 to 2019. Nearly half occurred at ages 30-69 years and over a quarter in children < 15 years. Most occurred at home in the rural areas. About 70% occurred in eight higher burden states and half during the rainy season and at low altitude. The risk of an Indian dying from snakebite before age 70 is about 1 in 250, but notably higher in some areas. More crudely, we estimate 1.11-1.77 million bites in 2015, of which 70% showed symptoms of envenomation. Prevention and treatment strategies might substantially reduce snakebite mortality in India.

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/elife.54076

Type

Journal

eLife

Publication Date

07/07/2020

Volume

9

Addresses

Centre for Global Health Research, Unity Health Toronto, and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.