This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
    Researchers are finding new ways to save snakebite victims. Experts discussed the latest findings during a recent meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

    Scientists in Australia have shown that a chemical called nitric oxide could increase the chances of surviving a poisonous snakebite. The scientists injected rats with deadly amounts of snake venom. Then they rubbed an ointment containing nitric oxide on the skin around the injection site.
    The study found that the rats lived about one-third longer than if the ointment had not been used. But the treatment had to be started very quickly.
    Dirk van Helden led the research at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He says the nitric oxide ointment also showed promise in humans. Volunteers were injected with a harmless liquid that contained molecules about the same size as snake venom molecules.
    新南威尔士州纽卡斯尔大学的德克·范赫登(Dirk van Helden)领导了这一研究。他说,这种一氧化氮药膏对人类也有效。志愿者被注射了一种无害液体,其分子大小与蛇毒分子一致。

    Many snake venoms contain large molecules that can only enter the bloodstream through the body's lymphatic system. The nitric oxide slows the pumping action of the lymphatic system, and that slows the flow of venom into the blood.

    The study appeared earlier this year in the journal Nature Medicine. Scientists say the findings could help save many lives. A study from two thousand eight found that poisonous snakes cause as many as ninety-four thousand deaths worldwide each year. But Ulrich Kuch of the Biodiversity and Climate Research Center in Frankfurt, Germany, says that estimate appears to be low.
    这项研究发表在今年早些时候的《自然医学》杂志上。科学家说,这一发现有助于挽救许多生命。2008年开始的一项研究发现每年全世界有多达9.4万人因毒蛇死亡。但德国法兰克福生活多样性和气候研究中心的Ulrich Kuch表示,这一估计数字似乎有些偏低。
    ULRICH KUCH: "New numbers from very rigorously designed and well-conducted studies in India and Bangladesh have come up with numbers that suggest that the real death toll of snakebites at the global level is much higher."
    ULRICH KUCH:“出自印度和孟加拉国严格设计和方法得当的研究的新数字表明,全球层面上毒蛇咬伤的实际死亡人数要高得多。”

    Mr. Kuch says many deaths could be prevented, but snakebite victims often go to traditional healers or do not seek any help at all.
    ULRICH KUCH: "Either because there is no treatment available -- no antivenom, which is the specific drug to treat snakebites -- or because health care staff do not know how to treat snakebites, or because transportation to get to a health facility is not available or too expensive."
    ULRICH KUCH:“要么是因为没有治疗条件--没有抗蛇毒血清,这是治疗蛇伤的特效药;要么是医护人员不知道如何治疗蛇伤;要么是因为去往医疗机构的交通不便或过于昂贵。”
    There is no single antivenom that can be used to treat all snakebites. The antivenom must be specific to the kind of snake that bit the person. In some countries the treatment is costly, while in others there are problems with availability.
    ULRICH KUCH: "For example, antivenoms in India, they are really not expensive. But you do have an issue of distribution and of training people in treating snakebites. In other countries, such as Laos, for example, and many other Asian and African countries, there's no antivenom at all."
    ULRICH KUCH:“例如,印度的抗蛇毒血清真的不贵。但在分配及培训人们治疗蛇伤上存在问题。在其它国家,如老挝和很多其它亚非国家,根本就没有抗蛇毒血清。”
    Using the correct antivenom is very important. New tests are being developed to help rural health workers know the right one to give.