Published on: February 20, 2024



NEWS – Karnataka government recently classified snakebite cases and deaths caused due to snake bites to be a ‘notifiable disease’ in a bid to keep an exact track of the number of such cases in the state


  • According to an official notification, Karnataka’s Health Department has directed all private and government hospitals as well as medical institutes to register all the cases of snakebites — be it in-patients, out-patients and death cases on THE INTEGRATED HEALTH INFORMATION PLATFORM
  • This means that any snakebite case in the state presented to a private or government hospital, must be reported under the INTEGRATED DISEASE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM of the state government
  • The move comes in the wake of increased incidents of snakebite in Karnataka. As per a report and data from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, in 2023 alone (between January and October) the state recorded 5,316 snakebites
  • Karnataka is the first state in India to declare snakebite a notifiable disease
  • For any intervention to prevent and treat snakebite successfully, data of its prevalence is the first step. By mandating reporting of this disease, the government has ensured that data on a larger volume of snakebite cases will be captured to begin with


  • Snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease caused by the bite of a venomous snake. These bites are usually accidental in nature
  • However, snakebite envenoming is a significant public health concern. With this, snakebite envenoming and deaths are now on a par with other notifiable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis
  • Cases of snakebites and deaths are witnessing a steady increase, and notifying snakebites and deaths will help in shifting the government’s focus and developing urgently needed interventions
  • In 2023, Karnataka reported 6,595 snakebites and 19 deaths. This year, so far 543 snakebites have been reported, according to official data.
  • Centre for One Health at National Centre for Disease control (NCDC) is coordinating the implementation of Snakebite Prevention and control activities. The division has drafted a ‘National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming’ (NAPSE) with ‘One Health Approach’ in consultation with relevant experts in the field and major stakeholders
  • The objective of NAPSE is to halve the mortality and disability associated with Snakebite envenoming by 2030 in India