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Snakebite Now a Notifiable Disease in Karnataka

Snakebite
Photo Credit : PTI

Karnataka: The Karnataka government has taken a significant step by designating snakebite as a notifiable disease across all healthcare facilities in the state. In an official announcement dated February 12, the Health Department of Karnataka mandated that both private and government hospitals, as well as medical institutes, report all cases of snakebites on the Integrated Health Information Platform. This platform is part of the state’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Program.

This decision comes as a response to the rising incidents of snakebites in Karnataka. Data from the Department of Health and Family Welfare revealed that in 2023 alone (from January to October), there were 5,316 recorded snakebite cases in the state.

Humane Society International (HSI) India has praised this move, hailing Karnataka as the first state in India to recognize snakebite as a notifiable disease. They emphasized the importance of surveillance in tackling snakebite effectively, stating that accurate data collection is crucial for successful intervention.

Shubhra Sotie, a wildlife research and policy specialist at HSI India, lauded the government’s initiative, highlighting its potential to improve both human and snake welfare by reducing fatalities and fostering a better understanding between humans and snakes.

Sumanth Bindumadhav, director of wildlife protection at HSI India, noted that Karnataka’s action sets a precedent for other states to follow, potentially leading to a nationwide effort to address snakebite through enhanced surveillance and policy measures.

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