Zoological and natural hazards in Britain

Volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes, lizard bites and hornet stings caused some of the more unusual injuries listed by the Department of Health (DoH).

From the Guardian here :
Accidents cost the NHS about £1bn a year. The most common cause of injury was falling, which led to 119,203 admissions to casualty.

Thousands suffered attacks from a wide variety of animals. These included 451 people stung by hornets, 46 bitten by venomous snakes and lizards, 24 bitten by rats, 15 injured in contact with a marine mammal, two people bitten by centipedes and one attacked by an alligator. But dogs accounted for most injuries with 3,508 people suffering bites.

Hundreds more fell victims to natural hazards, with 54 people struck by lightning, 37 victims of “volcanic eruption” (sic), 25 injured in “cataclysmic storms”, 12 suffered from avalanches and seven were victims of earthquakes. A further 107 were exposed to “unspecified forces of nature”.

Adder bites in the UK

From the NHS (Plus lots of information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of adder bites)

  • Each year, approximately 100 cases of adder bites are reported in the UK. Most bites occur between February and October, with the number of bites peaking during the summer months. Note: I was bitten by an adder in Norfolk in 1972 when I was seven, though it did not inject much venom).
  • Since records began in 1876 there have only been 14 reported deaths caused by adder bites, with the last death¬† a 5-year-old child in 1975.
  • In addition to the adder, it is estimated that there are 75 species of exotic venomous snakes held in the UK, both legally and illegally, by private snake collectors and enthusiasts. These snakes are thought to be responsible for between five to six cases of snake bites in the UK each year. Most cases involve the snake’s owner

Statistically you have more chance of being killed by a wasp than dying at the teeth of Britain’s only venomous snake. The Independent

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