A 21-year-old woman in Weinan, Shaanxi province, remains in a brain-dead state after being bitten by a venomous snake she purchased online, Huashang Newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The e-commerce purchase and chat history of the victim, known as Xiao Fang, reveals that she bought the deadly krait - apparently in order to make medicinal liquor.
However, her true intentions remain unknown, and it is not clear if Xiao Fang knew she was dealing with a venomous snake.
Xiao Fang was bitten on July 9, and bandaged the wound, thinking little of it.
But later that day, she felt unwell and her family members took her to Weinan Third Hospital.
A doctor said Xiao Fang was lucid on arrival, but soon had breathing difficulties and went into cardiac arrest. A small wound was then found on her left forefinger under the bandage, at which point medics suspected a snake bite.
After being given CPR, Xiao Fang fell into a coma and began receiving general-use snake antivenin injections, the newspaper reported.
She was transferred to Shaanxi Provincial People's Hospital on July 11, where it was suggested treatment cease as she was declared brain-dead.
The snake believed to have bitten Xiao Fang was found dead by a sanitation worker on July 10 near her home. No additional snakebite cases were reported in the area.
Kraits enjoy State-level protection in China and trade in the species is only allowed among specialists with qualifications. Unauthorized and online sales are illegal.
The case is under investigation by the Huazhou district public security bureau in Weinan.
Doctors suggest snakebite victims try to take a photograph of the snake and then seek immediate medical assistance.