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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases

On-line version ISSN 1678-9199

Abstract

ALBUQUERQUE, H. N.; FERNANDES, A.  and  ALBUQUERQUE, I. C. S.. Snakebites in Paraíba, Brazil. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.3, pp. 242-251. ISSN 1678-9199.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-91992005000300003.

The epidemiological data on snakebites in the state of Paraíba, Brazil, is scarce. This accounts for the difficulties in helping the victims. Hence, to obtain the clinical and epidemic profile of the snakebite accidents in Paraíba, we studied the number of cases recorded in this state between January 1995 and December 2000. The data was collected from these sources: Center for Toxicological Assistance (Centro de Assistência Toxicológica - CEATOX) and State Secretariat of Health (Secretaria Estadual de Saude), João Pessoa; 3rd Regional Health Center (3º Núcleo Regional de Saúde - NRS) and the Division of Epidemiological Vigilance of the Municipal Secretariat of Health (Divisão de Vigilância Epidemiológica da Secretaria Municipal de Saúde - DVE/SMS), Campina Grande. The annual distribution of the snakebite incidence showed an irregularity and an increase in March, May and August; followed by a large reduction in November and December. It was also observed that snakebites occurred more frequently in the rural area, mainly among the male laborers between 10-49 years. In most cases, the bite occurred on the leg or foot. The interval between the snakebite and the medical assistance was less than six hours. The most common symptoms were pain, edema, erythema, and bleeding. The low lethality index and the high frequency of healing, without sequels, suggest that the treatment with serum neutralized the poison, indicating the efficacy of this treatment against snakebites by the specific species found in this region.

Keywords : ophidic accident; Paraíba; public health care; environment.

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