Setback for girl bitten by spitting cobra

2011-12-23 16:44

Johannesburg - The condition of the 5-year-old girl from Limpopo who was bitten by a Mozambique spitting cobra had suddenly deteriorated, according to a report on Friday.

Mikayla Robbertse was going to sleep in the family home in Ellisras on Monday night when she was bitten on the hand by the snake in her bed.

According to her grandmother, Charmaine, her liver is enlarged and doctors are worried about her kidneys, Beeld newspaper reported.

She said it looks like her chest tissue had also been affected by the snake's venom.

"The doctors said if she can only pull through to Sunday.... I have asked all the children to come to Pretoria," said the grandmother.

"They told us from the start that her condition could worsen at any time."

The girl was taken from the Netcare Montana Hospital to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria.


On Monday night, the family heard Robbertse scream and her father rushed to the room and saw the snake.

The grandparents then picked up Robbertse and drove her to the hospital while her father Bertus and a neighbour found the snake and killed it.

According to the girl's grandmother Mikayala is weak and only weighs 15kg.

The molecules in the venom of a Mozambique spitting cobra moves faster through tissue than those in the venom of other snakes, Graham Alexander, a snake expert at the University of Witwatersrand, told the newspaper.

It can necrosis away from the bite area and in the worst cases people can continue to lose tissue for months after being bitten.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  animals

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