Costa Rican Institute Top Producer for Snake Antivenoms Worldwide

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The Picado Institute (ICP) produces a snake poison serum used for the treatment of snake bites for the Central American region and additionally for Ecuador, Colombia and Nigeria.

    The deputy director and researcher of ICP, Dr. José María Gutiérrez, said that the production has been increasing since the production of the serum began this year for Colombia. In the last year the institute produced about 75,000 bottles, while this year the ICP estimates 90,000 production units.

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    According to Gutierrez, the cost of a bottle containing the serum is around $20, is available at the Institute and the price set is intended to make it accessible to the public health systems of the countries that use it, as these incidents generally affect people with limited resources.

    With respect to the distribution of the production of the serum, the authorities estimate that 25% is distributed in Costa Rica, 50% in the rest of Central America, 15% is directed to Ecuador, while about 5% goes to Colombia and the remaining 5% to Nigeria.

    The records of ICP show that in the country occur annually about 600 cases, in Central America 5000 incidents are recorded, in Ecuador and Colombia the figure ranges between 3000 and 4000.

    Gutierrez explained that the number of cases registered in the countries is similar and uniform based on the number of cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.

    In our country the “velvet” snake brings as many emergencies as it is abundant in moist lowlands, it adapts itself to areas where people are living such as seedbeds, pastures and near houses.

    The most common victims are farm workers, especially in the months of May and June, an increase in cases occurs in the rainy season.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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