Hepatitis, SARS, bird flu … now add snakebites to your “to-worry” list when traveling to or staying in Shanghai.
The ever informative Shanghai Daily sounded the alarm in today’s Metro section:
Hospitals warned city residents to watch out for snakes this summer because the hot weather sees an increase in snake bites.
Longhua Hospital, which has a Chinese herb therapy department to treat snake-bite injuries, said it had treated more than 20 snake-bite victims since summer began last month.
It said most of the bites were non-venomous…most dangerous snakes did not venture into towns or places where humans lived.
Whew. That’s a load off of our minds. So, where then did all the scaly reptiles come from?
Some of the snakes could be escaped from restaurants or from people who raise them for cooking because their meat is very popular,” said Wu, the director of the reptile unit of the Shanghai Zoo.
A case of biting the hand that stirfries you, what irony! But, if you’re raising snakes at home for the sole purpose of eating them, then Shanghaiist doesn’t have much sympathy.
Bottom line, should city residents be concerned? Probably not. We recommend that people taking a “what’s the chance of it happening to me” approach, and strut down Huaihai Lu with the same swagger as before. That is unless your streets happen to be full of stalls serving snake meat, in which case we suggest you move … immediately!