Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes, and it’s likely linked to the fact that snakes bite nearly 3 million people each year, and 80,000 of them die. However, a recent article from The Guardian suggests there may be less to worry about when it comes to snakes thanks to the development of a universal snakebite cure. Venom specialists in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Britain, and the US are working together to locate and develop antibodies to treat critical illness from snakebites.
The vast majority of harmful snakebites occur in rural areas where treatment options only exist in hospitals sometimes hours away. A universal cure means that victims won’t need the specific antidote for the one of 250 types of snake that have medically harmful venom. The consortium will seek an antidote comprised of “humanized antibodies” rather than traditional animal-based therapies, to take on the World Health Organization’s goal of halving snakebite deaths by 2030.