• Sweden's news in English

Vipers bite bad golfers

TT/The Local · 17 Jul 2010, 12:52

Published: 17 Jul 2010 12:52 GMT+02:00

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“It’s probably because of the weather,” said Hanna Holmquist, spokeswoman for the Stockholm county health board.

With temperatures soaring over the last ten days, the health board has seen a 47 percent increase compared to the same period last year in the number of phone calls from members of the public concerned about various forms of bites and stings.

Misfiring golfers are among the groups most vulnerable to attack, with many reporting being bitten by vipers as they reached for balls in rough grass or bushes.

“It’s a good idea to stamp on the ground a bit more and look for the ball with the aid of the club rather than using your hands,” said Stockholm nurse Ingrid Sandholm.

She advised anyone who has been bitten by a viper to seek immediate medical attention since it is impossible to predict how the body will react to the snake’s venom.

The health board has also received a large number of calls relating to wasp stings, tick bites and mosquito bites, with many of the calls coming from the concerned parents of small children.

“Parents usually know what they’re supposed to do but they call to make sure they’ve done the right thing. It’s a very good idea to get in touch with us if you’re not sure,” said Sandholm.

Story continues below…

The nurse believed the upsurge in calls stemmed from the fact that insects were thriving in the warm weather as well as being naturally drawn to bare, sweaty bodies.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:09 July 17, 2010 by A SAFARI
I didn't know that vipers exist in Sweden.
13:30 July 17, 2010 by Swedesmith
That should teach them not to handle their balls in public.
14:27 July 17, 2010 by calebian22
It would be better if it read, "while searching for their golfballs in the rough." The Local's version is much funnier though.
14:59 July 17, 2010 by Raiha
Reads like an article on premature ejaculation during outdoor masturbation...
16:10 July 17, 2010 by eZee.se
I like it!

TheLocal is using a little tongue in cheek humor, beats the crap out of the bad spellings and grammar that is usually on here...
18:00 July 17, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
Stockholm nurse Ingrid Sandholm said stamp on the ground. Probably meant stomp on the ground unless it was a misprint. Not that it will do any good. However, it is hard to believe that a mostly cold climate country like Sweden would have venomous snakes in its beautiful nature.
18:21 July 17, 2010 by Tall swede
The nurse might have said "stamp". Stomp is called stampa in swedish so its an excellent example of swenglish. The local should pick up mistakes like that.

Vipers are quite common in sweden, but that is the only poisonous snake in the country and do dont cause death unless you are really allergic and dont receive medical treatment.

And The local, you better shape up, or I will handle your balls in a rough way. Or stamp on them! ;)
20:00 July 17, 2010 by rumple123k
A very interesting story and all people can talk about is the spelling!
20:19 July 17, 2010 by engagebrain
stamp and stomp have similar but different meanings-

A small child can stamp her/his feet but to stomp something you need much more power or big boots.
21:25 July 17, 2010 by xykat
Today I was walking towards my local neighborhood mall and heard something swish in front of my feet really fast. I know this type of sound because I grew up in Arizona. It could have only been the sound of a Swedish lizard. I haven't seen one of these for years in Sweden. Funny!

I walked home and noticed some wasps starting to make a nest almost in front of the door the the apartment I live in. YIKES! I am allergic to wasps/bees I think. The last time I was stung my whole leg swelled up.

I hate to have the poor living things killed but I am really afraid of them and being bitten.
01:17 July 18, 2010 by seagull
Actually stamp is perfectly correct English. Stomp is some ugly american slang.
03:07 July 18, 2010 by AussieAndy
Stamping the ground tends to make snakes more agitated and aggressive. Snakes use the vibration in the ground to sense potential predators or pray.
09:26 July 18, 2010 by Nika-NM
Being bitten by a snake would be the last thing I'd expect when in Sweden. But those little devils are so ubiquitous. I think this is one of those things that makes me feel concerned about Global Warming. Creepy crawlies and the like, I know they are an indispensable ingredient in the livelihood of avian creatures but, I'm too scared of them to be feeling pity for squashing them flat on the ground (with considerable disgust)
15:37 July 18, 2010 by voiceofreason
I have always been told that there are no snakes in Sweden. Given the cold, I can't see how anyone can survive anyway.

If vipers do exists in Sweden, I bet they are as harmless as the worms else the golfers will never be able to tell their long tales.
19:41 July 18, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@AussieAndy: That might be the case for Australian snakes but not for the Swedish ones. As soon as they feel vibrations bigger than anything a mouse could achieve they will seek cover immediately. The vipers are slower than the grass snakes so you have to walk a bit slower to give them time to go away. The grass snakes feel your vibrations long before you arrive.
19:49 July 18, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@voiceofreason: The Swedish vipers are venomous and common but rarely dangerous to humans if you get treatment. They are more dangerous to dogs and many dogs die each year from viper bites...
21:25 July 18, 2010 by 2394040
That first sentence was the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Somebody needs to get in touch with Richard Lederer of "Anguished English" fame.
00:20 July 19, 2010 by Da Goat
I believe Sweden has two types of snakes (orm) and the one I think referenced here is Hugorm as the other one I think from memory is harmless!

the hugorm is not really so dangerous just painful as pointed out earlier!

not pleasant to mess with by any means.

and yes Stomp is a silly yanky word! (swedes do tend to speak Yanky english and not the Queens style due to TV shows, more Aussie ones needed me thinks or even kiwi ones)
02:42 July 19, 2010 by AussieAndy
@Bender B Rodriquez

I was trying to make people aware of how snakes can use vibration as a sense. Provinding extra information like you have helps people from being biten.

Always take care near snakes. Unless you are a snake expert, err on the side it could be vemonous
12:48 July 19, 2010 by wolverine2k
Shouldn't the snakes be addressed as Vipera berus or common adder/viper since the term Viper generally is kept more for their poisonous cousins in North America?
14:32 July 19, 2010 by J Jack
they are a protected species, but not from balls, obviously ... I say ban golfers ... and add cyclist to that list.
14:47 July 19, 2010 by groverpm
Some of you need to get a dictionary. Stamp is perfectly acceptable. It's the act of bring down one's foot forcible. That said, perhaps it would help if the golfers didn't handle the vipers' balls
03:16 July 20, 2010 by Luke35711
Seeing this little marvel of journalistic perfection as the most commented piece of the day on the TL, one can only conclude:




total mental shutdown!
10:36 July 20, 2010 by farnoxo
I guess the moral of the story is "don't handle your balls in the rough". I guess this could equally apply to so many more situations in life as well :-)
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