A 77-year-old Queensland man has died in hospital six days after being bitten by a coastal taipan, one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

Cairns Base Hospital confirmed the man died late yesterday, six days after arriving in critical condition following the encounter with the snake in his Yorkeys Knob home.

QLD Paramedics state that the man had encountered the snake in the lounge room of his home, and had either been trying to shoo the snake away, or take its head off with a shovel. The 1.5 metre snake struck out and bit the man, who was not wearing shoes at the time, between the toes.

Paramedics quickly attended the scene, where the man went into cardiac arrest. Emergency medical personnel managed to revive the 77-year-old, who was then transported to the intensive care unit in a critical condition, before ultimately succumbing to the snake bite yesterday.

Paramedics also confirmed that the snake that bit the man was subsequently killed and taken away by ambulance staff.

Coastal taipans are rated as the sixth most venomous snake in the world, and the third most venomous land snake; all three of which are native to Australia. However due to the fast-acting nature of the venom and the snake’s relative aggressive temperament, herpetologists frequently cite the coastal taipan as being the second most dangerous snake in the world, behind the African Black Mamba. Untreated coastal taipan bites have a mortality rate of 100%.

Bites from the animal are rare, however multiple cases have been reported this year. Professional snake catcher Wayne Campbell died in April after being bitten by the snake. Elsewhere, a 2-year-old boy survived after being bitten 3 times by a taipan on an Anges Water property in September.

The boy went into cardiac arrest, but was revived and spent 10-weeks in hospital being treated for the bites’ after-effects. His recovery and rehabilitation is on-going.

Source: ABC News.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.