10 Snake Bite Statistics & Facts to Know in 2021: Rates, Deaths & More

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Snakes in your home can be a hazard. The poisonous ones are a grave danger. The most widely used gauge is measuring how many people get bitten by snakes each year. It tells you how well a country is protecting itself from poisonous creatures. The data, though, tells a different story about recent trends.

Most snake bites occur in the rural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But, they can also occur in North America, despite its reputation for a low frequency of such incidences.

Snake bites are a continuing public health concern in the United States. In this guide, we provide current information on snakebite statistics. It includes snake bite deaths in the US and other parts of the world.

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The 10 Snake Bite Statistics and Facts

  1. Snake bite deaths per year globally stand at about 100,000 people.
  2. In India, the fatality rate resulting from snake bites is 1.28 per 100,000 people.
  3. The Saw-Scaled Viper kills the most victims. But, only 1 in 10 untreated victims die from its poison.
  4. The deadliest snake in the world is the Inland Taipan.
  5. There are around 700 one-of-a-kind species of poisonous snakes.
  6. There are more poisonous snakes in the United States than non-poisonous snakes.
  7. 20 percent to 75 percent of all snakebite victims are children.
  8. About 7,000-8,000 Americans are bitten by poisonous snakes annually.
  9. About 10-44% of rattlesnake bitten victims become permanently injured or disabled.
  10. If treated on time, there’s an 80% possibility of a pet recovering from a snake bite.

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Facts about Snakebite Fatalities

1. Snake bite fatalities globally stand at about 100,000 people every year.


Snakebites by various types of venomous snakes mostly occur in tropical and sub-tropical countries and parts of Africa and Asia.

The snakes responsible for the majority of snakebites are the Indian cobra and the saw-scaled viper.

Deaths resulting from snakebites amount to 100,000 people annually, according to the CDC. However, experts argue that the snakebite cases are higher because these statistics are showing only the reported death cases. After all, most of the victims receive medical attention.

The fatality rate varies considerably between countries. The highest rates occur in the tropics, where venomous snakes are often encountered. In Africa, deaths from snakebite are three times more common than those resulting from malaria and HIV/Aids combined.

First Aid Training - Snake Bite
Image Credit: Microgen, Shutterstock

2. In India, the fatality rate from snake bites is 1.28 per 100,000 people.


More than 32,000 people die annually from snake bites in India. It represents a fatality rate of 1.28 per 100,000 people.

According to BBC, the death rate from snake bites in India is 32 per 100,000 people. It’s higher than the death rate from snake bites in neighboring Pakistan, where there are 25 deaths per 100,000 people.

Fatality rates from snake bites are highest in Delhi and West Bengal. Although snake bites are common in both states, the fatality rate in Delhi is 1.68 per 100,000 people, which exceeds that in West Bengal, 0.96 per 100,000 people.

3. The Saw-Scaled Viper kills the most victims. But, only 1 in 10 untreated victims die from its poison.


In the United States, the saw-scaled viper kills more victims than any other venomous snake. But, only 1 in 10 untreated victims die from the venom.

The saw-scaled viper has one of the most potent venoms of any snake. It’s native to southern Texas and Arizona. Twelve milligrams of this snake’s venom can kill an adult human.

Like most vipers, the saw-scaled viper’s venom consists of neurotoxins that paralyze the muscles. Also, it has hemotoxins (which block the blood supply) and hemostatics that stop the bleeding. Together, the toxins cause coma, respiratory and kidney failure.

The saw-scaled viper doesn’t harm people by biting them. It injects the venom through small fangs. If the snake bites a healthy adult, the victim rarely dies. But, if it bites someone with a weakened immune system or with preexisting health problems, it can be fatal.

The venom is toxic to humans only because it targets enzymes in our cells. The enzymes control how rapidly we break down carbohydrates. They also help control the rate at which other enzymes break down protein. The venom cuts the rate of breakdown by 30 percent, which makes sugar in the blood unavailable.

The venom is even more toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. It’s because they have the same enzymes. A dog’s enzymes cut the breakdown rate by 60 percent. The venom is also toxic to chickens, quail, and turkeys, which lack these enzymes.

Saw-Scaled Viper
Image Credit: sushil kumudini chikane, Shutterstock

Facts about Poisonous Snakes

4. The deadliest snake in the world is the Inland Taipan.


The Inland Taipan (Ophiophagus Hannah) is a poisonous, highly aggressive, and territorial Australian snake. It is the smallest of the Taipan species. The Inland Taipan’s venom is one of the most toxic, and it kills up to 50% of victims.

It has one of the highest venom-to-bite ratios of any venomous snake in the world. The venom of this species alone is responsible for 60% of the world’s snakebite fatalities.

5. There are around 700 one-of-a-kind species of poisonous snakes.

(National Geographic)

There are about 700 unique species of venomous snakes in the world. Some have poison glands on their heads. Others have poison glands on their tails. The venom from each species is lethal.

Some poisons affect the nervous system, causing paralysis. Others cause severe inflammation of the blood vessels, which can cause gangrene. Those victims who are lucky enough to survive may later die of kidney or heart failure.

Some venom can kill instantly. Others take hours. Some kill by causing pain, and others cause convulsions. Venom can also cause paralysis and heart failure.

There’s no known cure for snakebites. Those who survive are treated in hospital with anti-venom (a special antibody that neutralizes the effects of the venom). Anti-venom is made from the blood of horses immunized with venom from poisonous snakes.

venomous timber rattlesnake coiled to strike
Image Credit: Mark_Kostich, Shutterstock

6. There are more poisonous snakes in the United States than non-poisonous snakes.


Two-thirds of snakes in the United States are poisonous. But, total snakebite deaths are only about one in a thousand bites. The reason is the severity of the poisoning. It depends on the number of toxins in a species and the strength of the poison.

Of the 800 species of venomous snakes known in the US, more than 400 are poisonous. Non-poisonous snakes include not only harmless snakes but also some that inject venom only in self-defense. An example is a copperhead.

Of the poisonous snakes, about 17% are rattlesnakes. For instance, the red-sided rattlesnake injects one toxin and can kill a human in only 30 minutes. The Mojave rattlesnake is slightly larger, and the venom takes longer to kill. But, the effects in 30 minutes are severe enough.

Most of the snakes do not inject venom. The coral snake and cottonmouth inject toxins but do not kill people. The most poisonous snake is the coral snake. It injects three toxins, and the coral snake bite can kill in as little time as 15 minutes.

The severity of the poison varies. For example, snakes from southeastern states have toxins that kill the heart and lungs. Coral snakes from the western are milder.

The venom of rattlesnakes is among the most deadly. A red-sided rattlesnake kills with 0.5 mg of toxin. Usually, the Mojave rattlesnake (a larger snake) injects 0.8 mg.

Facts on Snakebite Victims

7. From 20 percent to 75 percent of all snake bite victims are children.


The CDC states that between 20 and 75% of all snakebite victims are children. Usually, children are bitten by poisonous snakes without knowing.

Also, when looking at the snake bite statistics by state, in the United States, snakebite victims have increased in recent years.

Bites from nonvenomous snakes may not require emergency care. On the other hand, a venomous snake bite can result in death. Typically, the cause of death is respiratory failure due to bleeding from the venom.

A snakebite victim should seek medical care immediately. The victim is safest if the bite is diagnosed and treated within an hour.

child walk close of poison snake
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8. Every year, 7,000-8,000 Americans are bitten by poisonous snakes.


The most dangerous snakes are found in Central and South America. But, there are also many deadly varieties in the U.S. and Canada. According to World Health Organization (WHO), between 7,000 and 8,000 Americans are bitten by venomous snakes annually.

9. About 10-44% of rattlesnake bite victims become permanently injured or disabled.


When looking at rattlesnake bite statistics in the United States, between 10 and 44% of victims become permanently disabled or injured. This percentage has remained stable over several decades.

90% of snake bites occur in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Although rattlesnakes live in all 50 states it’s important to know what state has the highest number of snake bites. North Carolina records the highest number of snake bites. Most snake bites occur in the South and West, while some occur in the Northeast and Midwest.

Rattlesnakes, unlike most other snakes, are usually found on their own. They prefer living where the main food supply is rodents, snails, and other small animals.

Western Diamond-Baked Rattlesnake
Image Credit: CHDPhoto, Shutterstock

10. If treated on time, there’s an 80% possibility of a pet recovering from a snake bite.


A snake bite should be treated as a medical emergency. But, snakes aren’t inherently dangerous. If treated in time, there’s an 80% probability of a pet recovering. If a pet isn’t treated, the probability of recovery drops to 50%.

Most pet owners are unaware that a snake bite is an emergency and should be treated as soon as possible. According to experts, the sooner the pet receives treatment, the better the chances of full recovery.

If you think your pet may be bitten by a snake, then you need to know all the facts and take immediate action.


Frequently Asked Questions about Snake Bite Statistics and Facts

How Many Snake Bites Take Place Every Year?

The answer might surprise you, and it’s higher than you think. Snake bites are common, and about 2.7 million people get bitten by venomous snakes every year. Snake deaths per year worldwide stand at 100,000 people. (CDC)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention keeps records on all kinds of health issues including snakes bites. Even though they’re not common, the CDC keeps tabs on how many venomous snake bites take place every year.

Which Snake Kills the Most People Per Year?

The fact that snakes kill more people each year than any other animal is not a myth. According to the U.S. National Zoo, venomous snake bites kill more humans each year than sharks, bears, alligators, crocodiles, and spiders combined.

The most venomous snake kills an average of 2,100 people per year (via National Review). It’s known as the Saw Scaled Viper. The Saw Scaled Viper is found in the Middle East and several parts of India.

Which Snake Bite Kills Quickly?

There are many myths surrounding snake bites, one of which is how deadly they are. Snakebites have been associated with massive blood loss, organ failure, and death.

So, which snake bite kills quickly? Is it the cobra or the mamba? The snake that causes instant death is the black mamba. It has a neurotoxic venom that attacks the respiratory system. The venom prevents signals from moving throughout your body to your brain. So, you quickly suffocate and die without treatment. It only takes 20 minutes for you to die. (National Zoo)

A rattler, king snake, copperhead, or cottonmouth can also kill quickly. Rattlesnakes and copperheads have venom that interrupts your breathing. The king snake and cottonmouths have venom that destroys your organs.

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Image Credit: Mike_68, Pixabay

How do I Avoid a Snake Bite?

A bite from a venomous snake, such as the rattlesnake or copperhead could cause death in minutes. It needs extensive treatment.

The following tips can help you avoid being bitten by a snake. (CDC)

  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Avoid areas where snakes are active
  • Avoid touching or picking up large rocks, logs, or other debris
  • Remove or roll up any clothing or debris you may find on or near a snake’s trail
  • If you have a snake bite, stay calm
  • Remove any jewelry or other objects from the affected area immediately
  • Apply pressure to the affected area. Usually, this prevents the victim from going into shock.
  • If possible, treat the bite site with an antibiotic
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • Do not throw stones or scare snakes with sticks or other objects
  • Never try to strike or kill venomous snakes with bare hands
  • If you identify a snake bite victim, call 911 immediately
  • Do not attempt to clean the snake bite

Which Country Records the Most Deaths from Snake Bites?

In recent years, snake bites have been a leading cause of death in rural parts of the world. One country, in particular, has a large number of deaths compared to its population. That country is India.

It’s according to a recent study that was published by the University of Michigan. The study provides insights into snakebite mortality at a global and regional level.

(University of Michigan)

What Part of the Human Body do Snakes Bite the Most?

Snakes bite hands, feet, legs, ears, noses, and necks. They inflict a particular kind of injury. Snake bites happen when a snake’s fangs latch onto a person and the snake’s body squeezes hard.

It squeezes everything inside the victim’s body at once, twisting and tearing tissue. Then, it pulls organs inside out, breaking bones, and blowing out eardrums. The injury is brutal. But, it’s also rare. Compared to the bodies of other large animals, the human body is defenseless.

What are the Symptoms of a Snake Bite?

The bite of a poisonous snake is painful. The snake’s saliva contains envenomation substances. They irritate the skin and cause the bite to hurt.

Other symptoms of snake bites include Inflammation, swelling, bruising, reddening, dizziness and headache.

Sometimes, if the snake was venomous, you’ll get a blister. These symptoms may be caused by the bite itself. But, it’s difficult to prove.

Most people with snake bites don’t die. But, 50 percent have extensive tissue damage and amputations. Also, they have a high chance of infection.

In case of a snake bite, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor’s job is to diagnose a disease or injury. The doctor’s diagnosis has to be based on the patient’s symptoms, and, in the case of snake bites, on a blood test.



Snakes are some of the most dangerous creatures on earth. The bite of some poisonous snakes can lead to death within a short period. Snake bites are also a problem in developing countries, where they are neglected because of limited resources for treating them.

Snakes are found in every continent of the world except Antarctica. Thus, it good to beware of such statistics and stay woke in case you or your family member falls victim.

Featured Image Credit: Tom Reichner, Shutterstock


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