A man who just attended the funeral of his brother, who was killed by a snake bite, has also died after being bitten by a snake.
Govind Mishara, 22, attended the funeral of his brother, Arvind Mishara, aged 38, on Wednesday in the village of Bhawanipur, India. Arvind died of a snakebite on Tuesday, officer Radha Raman Singh told PTI, an Indian news agency, on Thursday, according to a report from The Indian Express.
“Govind Mishara was killed after being bitten by a snake in his sleep,” Singh said. “One of the relatives of the family, Chandrashekar Pandey, who was in the same house, was also bitten by a snake.”
He added that Pandey was rushed to a hospital after the incident and is in critical condition.
Pandey and Govind Mishara had come to the village to attend the funeral. Police would not say whether they are investigating the dead or whether they are considered suspicious.
News week has contacted Balrampur Police for comment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), snakebite is a neglected public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries.
“Each year, approximately 5.4 million snakebites occur, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million cases of venom (snake bite poisoning),” according to a May 2021 report.
“There are between 81,410 and 137,880 deaths and about three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities each year.”
The report added that in Asia, up to 2 million people are poisoned by snakebites every year.
The report also stated that under-reporting of snakebites also distorts official government data.
“A very large community-level study of snakebite deaths in India gave a direct estimate of 45,900 deaths in 2005, which is more than 30 times higher than the figures from the Government of India office.
“Revised estimates based on verbal autopsies and other data now suggest that as many as 1.2 million Indians died from snakebites between 2000-2019, (58,000 a year on average).”
In a separate WHO report on snakebites in India, the government agency said incidents are not reported because “victims seek treatment from non-medical sources or lack access to health care”.
The report also noted that antivenoms are an effective treatment, but many people do not have access to them or cannot afford to pay for them.
“Many families sell assets or go into debt to obtain an antidote after someone has been bitten,” the report said.
“Difficulties in ensuring proper regulation and testing of antivenoms also affect the availability of effective, good quality products.”