Vipers bite bad golfers

Vipers bite bad golfers
Photo: Daniel Nilsson/SvD (file)
An unusually high number of Swedish golfers have reported being bitten by vipers while handling their balls in the rough.

“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.

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.

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