On Monday, November 22, conversations around snakebit e resurfaced following the death of Ogah Bercy, an official identified as Lance Corporal Bercy of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
According to reports, Bercy was said to have been bitten by a snake while using a restroom in her flat at the NAF Base on Bill Clinton Drive in Abuja.
Following this sad incident, She later visited the hospital to get anti-venom but died in the process.
Presently, there has been a serious concern over how Bercy died from a snake in her apartment bite as many are wondering and asking questions on how that could be possible.
Indeed, snakes can get into toilet bowls through the connecting pipes and pits outside the house or get into the house, and then crawl up and, or fall into the toilet bowls after being in the house.
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The Punch reports that to understand how entry through pipes and connecting pits happen, one can first look at the structure of the toilet bowl and how it connects to external features of the solid waste system of a building.
A toilet bowl usually has three openings
The first and biggest opening is the rim or top of the bowl; it is the part through which wastes from humans (pee and poo) are released in the toilet bowl. Snakes can get into the toilet bowl if they climb over the rim from the toilet floor below, or from an open or broken window above.
The second one is a small opening located just behind and very close to the top of the toilet bowl. Snakes can only get into this hole through the tank but this only happens if the cover of the tank is broken, not sitting properly or has been deliberately removed and the flush siphon is not in place.
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The third and last opening is a 100mm (four inches) wide round opening on the back of the toilet, it opens directly into the big pipes that connect the building to the underground pits and tanks outside the building.
Most concealed reptiles found in the toilet bowl usually get into the toilet bowl using this last opening.
How can snakes get into toilet bowls?
The pipe links the toilet to an inspection chamber, a box-like structure just outside the house, usually very close to the wall of the toilet, which in turn has pipes that link to the septic tank (or, and, soak-away pit,) and a vent pipe, that allows foul air to escape from the chamber and the septic tank/soak-away pit.
A snake can get into an opening on the connecting pipes, the inspection chamber, septic tank, soak-away pit (like a big crack on the cover slab) and conveniently make its way into the pipe that links the toilet bowl to these structures, then up, into the house.
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The vent pipe is usually the weakest point when it is not properly covered or its cover falls off and is left unattended.
Thus, snakes get into toilets.
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Directly go into open or broken pipes that link the toilet to external installations, or
Find breaks and openings of the external waste pits (inspection chambers, septic tank or soak-away pits) and find their way into the pipes that connect these pits to the house,
Make their way into the house and find and climb into the toilet bowl.
How can one stay safe?
1. Go with a lamp
The first thing you should never do is, do not visit the toilet without a lamp.
2. Inspect the toilet bowl
Secondly, always inspect the toilet bowl and its surroundings before use
3. Avoid using toilet floor as packing space
You must ensure you do not use the toilet floor as packing space. Keep it tidy such that it is easy to see at once whether it is clean and clear, or occupied by foreign bodies.
Moreso, Inspect vent pipes, soak-away pits and inspection chambers, ceilings, roofs, walls, windows periodically for holes, breaks and loosed coverings. Repair this as soon as they are noticed.
5. Maintain a hygienic environment
Hire the right people to build, maintain or clean your home or shelter.
6. Cut grasses
Allow good and clear space between your building and surrounding structures such as fences and trees from which snakes can get into buildings.
7. Use repellants
Treat the spaces above the ceiling and below the building with snake repellents and other fumigants periodically.
The last but important step to take in staying safe is to take good care of your house so that it will take care of you.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that a man identified as Chidiebere Christopher Nwoke has breathed his last after he was bitten by a snake on his farm in Umahia, the Abia state capital, on Friday, February 6.
Nwoke was weeding his farm with his brother when he unknowingly struck a viper snake, which retaliated by biting him on his left hand, Gistreel reports.
On Monday, November 22, conversations around snakebit e resurfaced following the death of Ogah Bercy, an official of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).