In our new paper published in the journal Toxicon, we reviewed the patterns of snakebite envenomings in the Republic of Korea (ROK), covering almost 50 years of compiled data.
There are four species of medically significant terrestrial venomous snakes in the ROK: Gloydius brevicaudus (Short-tailed pitviper; 살모사*), G. intermedius (Rockpitviper; 까치살모사*), G. ussuriensis (Ussuri pitviper; 쇠살모사*), and Rhabdophis tigrinus (Tiger keelback; 유혈목이*). However, information on the broad patterns of snakebite envenomings (e.g., geographical, demographic) in the ROK are either partially documented and/or poorly represented in the global-scale research on snakebite envenomings.
So, we compiled available literature and also accessed public health database to summarize and synthesize the broad patterns of snakebite envenomings in the ROK. Our results show that the annual number of snakebite cases based on the literature and public health database (which are in turn based on hospital admissions) are most likely an underestimation of the true number of annual snakebite occurrences. Also, our results highlight the conflicting patterns of snakebite envenomings between the literature and public health database.
Our study filled in some gaps in our knowledge of snakebite envenomings in the ROK, but opened up some new ones. More comprehensive studies are needed to improve our knowledge on the snakebite envenomings in the country.
*We provide names in Korean as one of the reason for the lack of data is the non-consistent use of common names. 여기에서 한국어로 보실 수 있습니다.