Bites by the Philippine Cobra (Naja naja philippinensis): an Important Cause of Death among Rice Farmers

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  • U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, APO San Francisco 96528-5000
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We investigated mortality from cobra (Naja naja philippinensis) bite among Filipino rice farmers. Village records in one area were examined and we conducted a careful survey in this and two additional areas among inhabitants at varying risk for snakebite. The death rate from cobra bite was estimated to be as high as 107.1 deaths per 100,000 population per year at one site. Most victims were young (median age 17) and 98% were males. Only 8% of the victims studied reached a hospital. The confirmed death rate averaged 53.8/100,000 for the three populations.