Woman bitten by deadly snake in home

2012-03-08 11:21

Johannesburg - A woman is in a serious but stable condition after she was bitten by an Egyptian cobra in Jakkalsdans, Pretoria on Thursday morning, paramedics said.

The woman got out of bed and walked to switch on the lights and was bitten on her way back, Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks said.

"While walking back to bed she was bitten by the one metre-long snake, which had been lying near the bed."

Wicks said when paramedics arrived she was in a serious condition and in a considerable amount of pain.

She was stabilised on the scene and taken to hospital, Wicks said.

The snake was killed and taken to the hospital to be identified.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Fourie - 2012-03-08 11:33

    And you kill the snake why?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-08 11:36

      Eish, poor snake... Humans, gah!

      Truthis - 2012-03-08 11:36

      Should they have risked being bitten while capturing it alive? It was required immediately to take with to hospital so that the correct treatment could be given.

      philatom - 2012-03-08 11:39

      You kill the snake to make a 100% positive identification of it so the appropriate anti-venom can be administered.

      Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-03-08 11:46

      Mr Fourie they should have called you to catch that cobra alive and take it to hospital,i also wonder if at hospital allows alive snake,

      Staalburger - 2012-03-08 11:53

      If your wife or child is bitten by a snake, exactly how long will you wait for a snake handler to capture the snake so that it can be identified so that your wife or child's life could be saved.

      Leroy - 2012-03-08 12:30

      like what treatment? no anti venom?

      Craig - 2012-03-08 15:07

      Could have used their cellphone to photograph the snake, absolutely no reason to kill it.

      Kevin - 2012-03-08 16:55

      Only good snake is a dead one

      gattuso.mendes - 2012-03-16 13:16

      coz its dangerous dumbo

  • TBlogger - 2012-03-08 11:38

    Err an egyptian snake in the middle of Pretoria?? Is no one curious?

      Marion - 2012-03-08 11:54


      bobby.mykonos - 2012-03-08 12:02

      Snouted Cobra - It used to be called an Egyptian Cobra, now a seperate species

      Bruce - 2012-03-08 13:21

      The animals are named after the place where they were first identified. Like the Mozambique cobra, Cape buffalo, Nile Crocodile (the same species as in our rivers), Indian Cobra etc. That does not mean they are not found anywhere else. bbbbbbbb

      Shellerjc - 2012-03-16 14:15

      I was thinking that too........... mmmmm Strange things be happening

  • Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-03-08 11:40

    how come Egyptian snake landed in south africa,

      Craig - 2012-03-08 15:10

      Its a right wing plot to destabilise the country.

      malcolm.dale - 2012-03-09 08:48

      Eric, remember the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and then Libya and now Syria? Make the connection Egypt - Egyptian cobra - Craig is right it's ta plot to start the whatever"spring" in South Africa!!

  • clivegoss - 2012-03-08 11:40

    Poor snake, wrong place at the wrong time !

      gattuso.mendes - 2012-03-16 13:18

      whatever dude

  • Guy - 2012-03-08 11:40

    Sucessful treatment relies on acurate identification of the snake.

      bradleybrits - 2012-03-08 12:00

      Successful treatment does NOT rely on identification of the snake but rather management of the snake-bite clinical syndrome: Please read the following article: "SA Fam Pract 2005;47(9)" Anyone can just google that.. its the 5th entry on a google search titled: The identification and syndromic management of snakebite in South Africa For anyone reading.. don't try kill the snake. It does NOT need to be identified. It is treated according to your clinical presentation and NOT the identification of the snake.

  • DjCapiche - 2012-03-08 11:40

    I mistook this title for a sex scandal...

      drishworth - 2012-03-08 11:56

      Very humorous DjCapiche - hope this lady survives, makes a full recovery and also manages to have a chuckle at your comment.

      Timothy - 2012-03-16 22:36

      Eish always thinkin abt sex.

  • kswanepoel - 2012-03-08 11:57

    @Fourie, let's see? Why kill the snake? Main reason I suspect is that the same snake can bite another family member or domestic worker or child! I doubt once one is bitten that there's time for the victim to contemplate choices between saving their own life by calling 911, or catching the snake and calling a snake handler!

      Leroy - 2012-03-08 12:34

      so kill everything on earth that is a threat then with that logic, wont be much of a planet then would it!

      bradley.mills2 - 2012-03-08 13:51

      Dude, snakes will never bite if they can get away. What would you do if you were cornered by 3 people that you feel threatened by? Would you fight for your life or just stand there? Same senario, if you saw a chance of escape would you take it and run, or fight? Snakes work by the same process, if it can get away it will try, if it cant it will bite out of defence, never attack?

      roger.pacey - 2012-03-08 17:11

      We were always told to kill the snake for identification purposes, but that was a long time ago. Obviously knowledge and antivenom "technology" has progressed since then. Thx to the contributors for the updated information. Like them or not, snakes, bats and spiders dispose of other forms of wildlife that we'd rather not have around.

  • Sharon - 2012-03-08 11:57

    Crazy indeed - Giraffe, m0nkey, dog and now snake. The animals certainly are acting strange this week! I hope she makes a full recovery, it must have been a pretty nasty experience.

      Elle-Black - 2012-03-08 12:02

      @ Sharon you can say that again,the animals are on a warpath.

      Lucia - 2012-03-08 13:09

      Hahahaha that explains the funny look in my rottweiler's eyes... Not a good week!!

  • KevinHaycocks - 2012-03-08 12:09

    Snouted Cobra not Egyptian Cobra. Separate subspecies with a high Neurotoxic venom yield.

  • John - 2012-03-08 12:26

    "Jakkalsdans" (only in PTA) is this a built-up area / suburb or somewhere out in the country. Typically, a cobra or most snakes are looking for prey as in mice etc. The other thing is, at 1 M long, this must be a very young Egyptian cobra. They can grow huge in length. Me wonders if News24 have there facts in order. I suspect this might have been a cobra common to the area. I'm no snake expert just asking.

  • Zakhele Nkhosi - 2012-03-08 12:29

    Egyptian cobra in SA, how come???

  • Herman - 2012-03-08 12:34

    Snouted Cobras are indigenous to Southern Africa. They are often found around human habitations, especially towards the Lowveld. They do not spit venom, they are however very dangerous and should only be handled with extreme care. When threatened they spread a broad hood, and bite readily. This one probably only defend itself.

  • bradley.mills2 - 2012-03-08 13:43

    You dont need to identify the snake for correct treatment, there are only 2 types of antivenom, monovalent (For haemotoxin) and polyvalent (Cyto and neurotoxin) antivenom... Due to the fact that not many people are bitten by haemotoxic snakes monovalent antivenom is few and far between and rarely used, however polyvalent antivenom is use for cytotoxic and neurotoxic venom, and is widely avaliable due to the fact that most people are bitten by either a cytotoxic or neurotoxic snake. So identifying the snake isnt nessessary, and the Dr will never be able to identify the snake either due to the fact that the Egyptian cobra, Mozambican cobra and Rinkhals are so similar are are almost always incorrectly identified, unless you really know your snakes. They all belong to the Cobra family, so chances are its a cytotoxin... So why take a mashed up snake to the hospital??? They treatment is all the same, and Dr's will treat symptomatically anyway... You dont see Paramedics dragging the smashed up cars from an accident so that the hospital and identify the mechanisim of injury do you??? Food for thought...

      Herman - 2012-03-08 13:57

      Most paramedics and doctors these days wont be able to id a snake.

      bradley.mills2 - 2012-03-08 14:04

      lol It's amazing to see the people who haven't got a clue in this world by the number of thumbs down you get on information that is scientifically correct. lol

      bradleybrits - 2012-03-08 15:29

      Exactly.. Looking at the number of thumbs down my previous comment got. If you try kill the snake you just risk getting bitten again or increasing the number of bite victims.. Just leave it and get to hospital. The snake ID is irrelevant in terms of treatment

      Shellene - 2012-03-16 14:58

      Just wondering Brad, you seem to be very clued up with regards to snakes. Maybe you can answer my question. Why, after 10 years of seeing maybe 10 snakes in total, in this last week we have we found 2 cape cobras, 2 boomslangs, 1 puff adder and 1 black mamba in a period of one week? What could possibly cause the snakes to all appear at the house ie other than the obvious rubble, long grass, rodents etc of which there is absolutely none lying around. p.s: dog got bitten by a boomslang on tuesday night, after anti venom and 3 blood transfusions he is back home today. A boomslang at 23h30 on the ground (very rough stones)makes me wonder if we gonna have some sort of natural disaster and all the snakes can sense it. pss boomslang and mamba took a .22 (had too sorry)

  • Sanele - 2012-03-08 15:43

    This just shows how stupid some ppl are. A snake just bit a woman in her own house, why should its life be spared. It can enter more homes and bite more people. Poor snake my foot!! I'm glad they killed it!

      bradley.mills2 - 2012-03-08 17:27

      Yes, an evil snake sneaks around looking specifically for people to bite (Note the Sarcasim). snakes will never bite if they can get away. What would you do if you were cornered by 3 people that you feel threatened by? Would you fight for your life or just stand there? Same senario, if you saw a chance of escape would you take it and run, or fight? Snakes work by the same process, if it can get away it will try, if it cant it will bite out of defence, never attack? Remember, we are in their territory, they do not understand human boundaries...

  • barry.chamberlain - 2012-05-31 10:28

    The snake was killed due to the fact other people were in the house it was a danger to all, i would have done the same thing to protect my kids and loved ones...

  • Andrinette Beyers - 2013-05-17 13:52

    Good day to all. I am the lady bitten by snake, its been a year and i can say that i have recovered. It was a very long and painful experience but thanks to friends and family praying to God I am still here.

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