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Woman Bitten By Pit Viper In Thailand Treated With Antivenin From Toronto Zoo

June 26, 2019



A woman who was bitten by a Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) while vacationing in Thailand was administered with antivenin upon her return to North America, after experiencing symptoms following treatment in Thailand. 

Malayan pit viper

Wibowo Djatmiko/Wikipedia

Malayan pit vipers are endemic to Southeast Asia, from Thailand to the Indonesia.
 

According to the Toronto Zoo, Shalaba Kalliath received antivenin treatment in Thailand, but her symptoms re emerged when she returned home to Canada. Kalliath was admitted to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener and officials there contacted the Toronto Zoo, which holds an inventory of antivenin. Six vials of antivenin was immediately sent to the hospital and a subsequent search for more antivenin commenced. Additional vials of antivenin was secured from the Indian River Reptile Zoo. 


Colubrid Snake Changes Eye Pupils To Emulate Malayan Pit Viper


“I am very grateful to the Toronto Zoo for the quick delivery of the antivenom and for the great care I received at the Grand River Hospital,” Shalaba Kalliath said in a statement released by the zoo.

The zoo is an accredited facility that houses venomous snakes. It also stocks antivenin to ensure the health and safety of staff. 

“When unique situations like this arise, the Toronto Zoo’s highly trained and professional staff is committed to providing  assistance to help patients receive the best treatment possible,” said Dr. Andrew Lentini, Senior Director Wildlife Care and Science.  “We were very pleased to receive an update that Ms. Kalliath is expected to make a full recovery.”

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