Boy’s arm ‘rotting’ after snake bite

2010-04-06 00:00

SNAKE experts have been called ­upon to try to save the arm of a 14-year-old boy from Ladysmith. His arm is apparently “drying up” and becoming deformed after he was allegedly bitten by a snake last year.

A concerned neighbour, Nkosikhona Ndebele, said Nhlanhla Ngubo suffered the snake bite in the middle of the night while asleep at home. He was not able to identify the snake.

“He lives in the rural area and there they sleep on the floor. On that night, he felt something biting him on his hand and when he tried to look he could not see what had bitten him.”

Ndebele said that the following morning Nhlanhla, who then saw he had a bite wound, was taken to the local clinic, but because they did not know what snake had bitten him, they could not give him proper medication.

He said that other than the wound and profuse sweating, the boy did not have any symptoms that might suggest he was really sick.

“This incident happened eight months ago and the boy’s hand continues to deteriorate. It is rotting, the wound is not healing and it is actually becoming deformed,” continued Ndebele.

He said their area is crawling with venomous snakes.

“We are asking all of the snake experts who might be able to identify what is happening to assist that boy before he loses his hand.”

Snake expert Mark Enslin, who saw the injuries, said it looked like he was bitten by a puff-adder or imfezi, a spitting cobra.

He said Nhlanhla should have been taken to a doctor immediately: “There is already decaying of the flesh because of the bite; it is necessary that he is taken to hospital immediately or he may lose his arm.”

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