A couple died at a hospital in Rajshahi yesterday, hours after they were bitten by a snake.
Nurul Islam (35) died at 7:30am and his wife Mousumi Begum (27) an hour later, said Saiful Ferdous, deputy director of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH).
They were bitten by a common krait, said the director, adding that its venom is considered one of the most toxic with an ability to cause death in less than five hours.
“When we found the patients, the envenoming effects took hold over them,” Saiful Ferdous told The Daily Star.
“They suffered a severe paralysis causing breathing failure. Our anti-venom injections didn’t work,” he added.
A month ago, Nurul’s father Sirajuddin died from a snake bite too, said Nurul’s uncle Abdur Rahim.
In the early hours of September 13, Sirajuddin, a mason, was bitten while he was praying in his Ramcharanpur village residence beside the river Atrai in Mohadevpur upazila of Naogaon, Rahim said.
“We tried to apply local methods to save him, but he died before dawn,” he added.
Following the incident, police suggested locals to take snake bitten patients to hospital.
“I can’t say which snake bit him as we couldn’t see it,” said Abdur Rahim.
But since his death, the family members took some precautions to catch snakes.
A month later yesterday, Nurul and Mousumi were bitten around 2:30am while they were asleep inside a mosquito net in the same room his father died.
This time, they managed a private vehicle for taking them to hospital, but the vehicle delayed to reach the village from Mohadevpur.
The patients were taken to the hospital, some 90km off the village, at 6:30am four hours after they were bitten.
Rahim said anti-venom was not available at Mohadevpur and Naogaon hospitals.
Mohadevpur Upazila Health Complex sources said they usually refer snake bitten patients to Rajshahi due to a lack of anti-venoms.
Rahim said, “We managed to catch the snake just after it bit them [the couple]. We caught it with a fishing net stored in the house.”
They brought the snake to RMCH where the doctors identified it as common krait.
They took the couple’s bodies and the snake back home yesterday noon, said Abdur Rahim. They are yet to decide on its fate, he added.