I came across this story this morning.
Why Snakebites Are About to Get a Lot More Deadly.
The cure for bites from North American coral snakes is about to disappear. Find out why an unprofitable antivenom may end up costing lives.
What the article’s title doesn’t include is the anti-venom for Black Widows and scorpions is in very short supply, just as we are in the summer vacation season.
Antivenom shortages are a surprisingly common occurrence. The entire state of Arizona ran out of antivenom for scorpion stings after Marilyn Bloom, an envenomation specialist at Arizona State University, retired in 1999. Bloom had been single-handedly making all the scorpion antivenom for state hospitals. Recently, Merck & Co, the only FDA-licensed producer of black widow antivenom, has cut back distribution because of a production shortage of the drug. In a 2007 report, the World Health Organization listed worldwide envenomations as a “neglected public health issue.”
Granted, Coral snake bites are rare and most bites on humans that are of concern is when one of those nasty rascals climbs into the bed, bunk or sleeping bag and have time to really gnaw on the victim and roll over to insure the venom is introduced.
Just be careful out there and watch those young ones.