Michigan man hospitalized for rare cobra bite; officials scramble to find antivenom

Medical officials rushed to find an antivenom for a Pinconning Township, Michigan man who was bitten by his pet albino monocled cobra earlier this month. The 26-year-old man, whose name has not yet been released, was bitten by the serpent on July 14. Just 20 minute later, he became nauseous and began to vomit — a symptom of the cobra’s venom. The monocled cobra — which is native to China, Cambodia and India, among other places — has “one of the fastest acting snake venoms in the world,” according to Reptiles Magazine. The man was rushed to a hospital in Bay City, and later airlifted to the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) after the venom paralyzed his respiratory muscles, causing him to stop breathing, the Detroit Free Press reported. Puzzled, medical center officials reached out to the Toledo Zoo in Ohio in hopes officials would provide an antivenom that would cure the man. While the zoo sent eight vials of a generic antivenom, it “had little effect and the patient’s condition continued to worsen,” Jason Barczy, communications manager for the DMC, told the paper. In a second attempt to find the correct antivenom, the medical center reached out to officials with the Miami-Dade County Venom Response Program in Florida, which later sent 20 vials of a different antivenom. The man received the antivenom, according to the Detroit Free Press, though his condition remains unclear at this time. “It is very rare for a case like this to happen not just at the DMC or in Michigan, but there might be five cases like this around the entire country this year alone,” Barczy told The Detroit News. Barczy told Fox News on Tuesday afternoon no other information is currently available, declining to comment on whether the most recent antivenom appeared to be successful.

As someone who has spent some time working with cobras, myself..  I can tell you, only zoos and experienced professionals should ever handle such creatures.

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