Though the exact number of snake bites is unknown, an estimated 5.4 million people are bitten each year with up to 2.7 million envenomings.
Around 81 000 to 138 000 people die each year because of snake bites, and around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities are caused by snakebites annually.
Bites by venomous snakes can cause paralysis that may prevent breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to a fatal haemorrhage, irreversible kidney failure and tissue damage that can cause permanent disability and limb amputation.
Agricultural workers and children are the most affected. Children often suffer more severe effects than adults, due to their smaller body mass.
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