A 60-year-old woman died less than 24 hours after she was bitten by a venomous snake believed to be an undetermined cobra species inside her old abandoned house in Sagbayan town on Tuesday morning.
The victim, identified as Caldia Malubay, a resident of Barangay Sagbayan Sur, was cleaning her old house at around 10 a.m. when she was reportedly bitten by the suspected cobra.
Malubay told neighbors that she was about to cook lunch when the cobra pounced and bit her knee.
The snake reared up and spread the skin behind its head right before it attacked her, Malubay said.
Malubay was reportedly taken to a “mananambal” or a village healer.
However, she did not wake up from her sleep the next day and was shortly after declared dead.
According to Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, snake bite victims should not panic and run so the venom does not circulate faster in the blood stream.
Victims should sit down, force the venom out from the bite area and clean the wound before proceeding to the nearest health center.
However, Cabagnot said that government hospitals in Bohol do not have antidotes for snake bites.
The PHO has not bought and acquired any serum for such incidents due to its short shelf life and uncertainty in the number of snake bite cases in the province.
In 2012, Ronaldo ‘Ronron’ Aventurado, a zookeeper in Cebu City, was bitten by a King Cobra as he handled the snake.
The Inquirer reported that he fell into critical condition and his body functions started failing immediately after the incident.
An antidote which was flown in from Camaguin was administered a day after he was bitten and saved his life.
The incident prompted the Cebu City Council to pass a resolution asking the Department of Health in Central Visayas to be better prepared for emergencies like the snake bite case. (Allen Doydora)