A review of published reports on the incidence, pathology, and treatment of adder (Vipera berus) bites in man in the United Kingdom and Europe produced numerous case studies but little information about the impact od adders as a threat to public health. Adder bites in man are not uncommon (at least 44/year and probably more than 90/year in the United Kingdom) and, although they have been recorded for every month of the year between February and October, envenoming is most likely to occur during June, July, and August. Most adder bites are on the hand (51.6%) or foot (38.2%). The effects of adder bite envenoming are now know. Effective treatment protocols can reduce both the length of time victims spend in hospital and the morbidity in the affected areas: they have resulted in a decline in the death rate over the last 30 years, so that deaths are now rare.
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