Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Bite from Naja mossambica

news24 in Johannesburg is reporting on the condition of Mikayla Robbertse, a  5-year-old girl from Limpopo bitten by a Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica). The girl 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. On Friday her health suddenly deteriorated, her grandmother, Charmaine, reported her liver enlarged and doctors are concerned about her kidneys, her chest tissue had also been affected by the snake's venom. Doctors warned that her condition could worsen at any time. 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.

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