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Venomous Snake Bites People in Their Sleep

Unlike most poisonous snakes , which tend to bite people either touching them or who surprise them , the great Australian Mulga snake has been found also to attack people asleep .

In a new study that examined 27 cases of people bitten by snakes Mulga , the researchers found that seven of the victims were asleep when they were bitten , between midnight and 5:00

Such bites are not common - most people in the study who were bitten were intentionally made ​​contact with a snake . For example , one victim was bitten while playing with a snake in the garden , and another was bitten while feeding a pet snake .

But 10 people bitten encountered a Mulga snake accidentally , and the fact that seven of the victims were bitten while sleeping " is noteworthy because it represents 70 percent of the known cases involving involuntarily bite contact , and suggests that the bites sustained during sleep may be more common than previously reported , " the researchers wrote in their report . [ 7 Shocking Snake Stories ]

The Mulga snake is the largest terrestrial venomous snake in Australia . The snake bites can be deadly ; However , the most recent case of a fatal snakebite Mulga reported more than 40 years ago , wrote the researchers .

The majority of bites in the study occurred between December and March , when the weather is warmer in Australia , found the researchers . Eighty percent of the victims are men .

Snake do not always inject their venom when they bite , but in this study , 21 patients had symptoms of envenomation , which means that they are injected with venom . Bite victims in the study showed bleeding , vomiting , abdominal pain and diarrhea .

" The thing that was surprising about this study had a higher - than - expected rate of envenomation , " said Dr. Sean Bush , a professor of emergency medicine and a snake venom specialist at East Carolina University, who was not involved in the study . The high rate envenomation may stem from the large size of both the animal and its fangs , Bush said .

The high prevalence of bites inflicted while the person is asleep is also surprising , said Bush , because most snakebites occur when feeling threatened snake and try to defend themselves .

The authors study said it was not clear why the snake bit the people asleep . They speculated that , in one case , " the snake may be attracted to body heat of the victim , " or , in other cases , the snake is just the beginning looking for rodents can be attracted by a waste will be close to a victim's home .


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