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Read the passage below and answer the question that follows.

There are three main types of poisonous snakes in Malaysia: the cobra, the viper and the sea snake. If you are bitten, each produces different symptoms due to the toxins in the venom released.

Snakebites are not as common in Malaysia as they are in other parts of Asia and Africa where a large number of rural people don't wear protective footwear. Most snakebite occurs on the hands and arms or legs and feet.

Not every cobra's bite will result in the release of venom. There is a study that shows that the percentage of "blank" cobra bites may be quite high as much as 45% out of all cases in Malaysia. Snake charmers in India too are frequently bitten by their cobras and on one study, it was shown that one out of three snake charmers bitten by king cobras had no signs of envenomation.

A cobra can do two things to make the victim suffer: a) bite your or b) eject jets of venom towards you, usually at your eyes, as far as from 3 meters. This is called spitting.

A cobra's venom contains neurotoxin. When a cobra bites you, the cells in the area bitten will die and degenerate. Sometimes, this may be the only sign you have been bitten by a cobra and this usually appears within 48 hours of the bite. There is also immediate pain in the area around the bite. The skin darkens and there may be blistering. There is a characteristic putrid smell. The area too might swell progressively. If the neurotoxin enters the blood stream, you may experience drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, salivation and even euphoria. you would also suffer shortness of breath and respiratory paralysis which may lead to death in 24 hours or a matter of minutes. Frothing too would occur around your mouth.

The vipers have long fangs folded up against the upper jaw. When the viper strikes, the fangs stand erect. There are two groups of vipers: typical vipers and pit vipers. The pit vipers have a special sensory organ between their nostril and eye to detect their prey. The viper's toxin is haematoxic which means it affects the circulatory system.

There is intense pain and swelling at the bite site which often will ooze with blood. Then the toxin spreads in the body and begins to affect the clotting factors. Bleeding si a key sign -- you may bleed from your mouth, nose, anus and under your skin. The toxin spreads more slowly as it damages the blood vessels. At the end stage, the vessel collapses manifesting as cold skin, a rapid and feeble pulse and a gradual loss of consciousness.

Sea snakes are not aggressive and will only bite you if you provoke them. Nearly 80% of sea snake bites do not produce venom. And unlike the cobra or viper, their bites may be painless and free from swelling. you might not even think you have been bitten.

Nevertheless, the venom is extremely potent containing neurotoxins and myotoxins. The neurotoxins can paralyze a person just like a cobra. The myotoxins cause your muscles to die and degenerate thus breaking them down and releasing myoglobin and potassium into your bloodstream. There may be a change in your urine color to reddish brown due to the myoglobins present in your urine.

If you are bitten by any of these poisonous snakes, first keep calm and restrict your movement to keep down the venom flow into your blood. Take off your rings, watches, bracelets to allow swelling. Splint the bitten area if you can to restrict movement. try to keep the bitten area below the level of your heart. Seek medical help immediately because you will need anti-venom. Do not apply a tourniquet, cold compress or try to suck the venom out by mouth. Do not attempt excise the bite with a knife.


Based on the passage given, write a summary about

* the venomous snakes and their bite symptoms

* the steps to take if bitten by one


Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the original meaning. Your summary must be in continuous form and not longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below.


Begin your summary as follows :

"The cobra, the viper and the sea snake are poisonous ..."

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The cobra, the viper and the sea snake are poisonous. If bitten, they produce different symptoms. Cobras bite or spit venom. The cells of the affected area die and the skin darkens and swells. Drowsiness, frothing, shortness of breath and respiratory paralysis occur. There are typical vipers and pit vipers and the bite is haematoxic. It affects the circulatory system. Pain, swelling and blooding occur at the bite site. The toxin destroys blood vessels leading to its collapse. Sea snake venom contains neurotoxins and myotoxins causing paralysis and muscle death. If you are bitten by poisonous snakes, stay calm and don't move Remove accessories to allow swelling. Splint the bitten area and get immediate medical help. Do not apply tourniquet, suck the venom orally or excise the area with knife. ( 130words )


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