(Nature) Rural Africa is facing a resurgence of a persistent plague that rarely makes headlines: snakebite.

By June next year, stockpiles of the anti-venom that is most effective against Africa’s vipers, mambas and cobras are expected to run out because the only company that makes the medicine has stopped production. With no adequate replacement in sight, the death toll from bites is set to rise, specialists warned at a tropical-medicine congress last week in Basel, Switzerland.

“We’re dealing with a neglected health crisis that is turning into a tragedy for Africa,” says Gabriel Alcoba, a medical adviser with the international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.

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