Questions on Common Krait ( CK)
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1) Yes , Common Kraits are seen all over India.
2) Yes all Common Kraits are highly venomous.
3) No, CK is always venomous ; confused with non venomous Woulf snake ( Ghar Chiti ) . See Photogallery for comparison.
4) It is a non hooded , slender , black coloured snake ; with characteristic slender white bands on body . bands are absent in the neck area but goes up to the end of the tail . In wolf snake bands are wide and starts right from the beginning of the neck but absent in the tail of the snake.
5) Yes, Common Krait snakes are usually seen in the nights only . In the day time they hide themselves in dark cool spaces . On the contrary non venomous Wolf snakes are seen in the day time only.
6) All most all the CK bite cases are noted to happen to the sleeping persons only. But they can bite any body it hurt by. If anybody steps on a CK snake or try to grab a CK snake, it will try to bite in defense.
7) There is no local sign of CK bite . NO bite mark , no local pain , no sweling . Only in few cases itching like mosquito bite .
Systemic signs come after 2 to 18 hours. These may be just giddiness and weakness in the morning. Whole body ache and joint pains are common symptoms. may present with pain in abdomen or in the throat. Pain abdomen may be associated with vomoting .Convulsions are comon in West Bengal CK snakes.
Systemic neurological signs starts with drooping of eye lids ( Ptosis). Then difficulty in swallowing ; ultimately respiratory distress and failure of respiration.
C K Bite patients can be treated by any health provider starting from a Primary Health Center . Only criteria is availability of AVS ( Anti Snake Venom Serum ) .
9) Treatment of C K bite patients is same as any venomous snake bite in India. Rapidly infuse 10 vials of Indian Poly- valent AVS with in one hour. Second dose of 10 vials may be needed if no improvement seen after 2 hours. One trial of Inj. Neostigmine 1.5mg IM along with 1 amp Atropine IV may be done . Usually no improvement in CK bite by Neostigmine.
10) Usual management of respiratory failure with artificial Ventilation is recommended. Mechanical ventilation may be needed for up to 5 days.