Boy bitten by viper, October 1943
“The viper is dead; the boy will live,” read the caption for this photo, published in the October 1943 issue of National Geographic. “At Kasauli, in the Himalayas, is the Central Research Institute which produces serums against snakebites and rabies. Since the identity of the Russell’s viper was known [the father holds the dead snake at left], the frightened lad has a nine-to-one chance for recovery.”
The Indian clinic specialized in producing antivenoms and rabies serums. During World War II it was tasked with producing large enough quantities of all manner of antidotes for both military and civilian use. The Russell’s viper—profuse in many parts of Asia—has one of the deadliest bites.