Updated: Monday, 13 Jul 2009, 9:45 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 13 Jul 2009, 8:56 PM CDT
Doctors are warning people to watch their step. Snakebites are on the rise this summer , and experts say the lack of water is to blame. They expect the number of snakebites to double this year.
“It was like somebody was sticking a knife, sharp knife quickly into your flesh or an ice pick it was a sharp pain,” said Evonne Brooks as she describes the snake bite she suffered Monday morning.
It was just after 6:00 a.m. when she walked out to her garden in a pair of flip flops to turn her sprinklers on. That is when she felt a Copperhead snake strike.
“You begin to feel that burning sensation of the venom and the pain was pretty substantial,” Brooks said.
She is just one of dozens of cases reported in Central Texas this year. By June 30th the number of incidents at UMC Brackenridge was at 26. However, Dr. Ben Coopwood expects it to double by the fall.
“The most common poisonous snakes that we see are rattlesnakes ,and copperheads then followed by water moccasins and cotton mouths,” said Dr. Coopwood.
Snake expert Robert Ackerman says the dry weather is to blame for the increase in bites.
“Normally the snake can live off the dew off the ground and get enough water but there is not enough dew this year so the snakes are moving big time,” said Ackerwood.
Those snakes are moving into yards, gardens, sheds or any other place to find relief from the heat. He says people should wear protective gear before working in brushes or gardens where snakes may be hiding.
The rattlesnake usually sends out a warning before striking but not always. Doctors say if a snake bites you do not bother trying to kill it. They say just get to an ER as fast as possible.
One drop of venom is enough to cause severe pain and swelling. That’s what happened to Evonne’s foot. When she reached the ER it was already twice it’s normal size.
Snakebites can be quite expensive to treat and usually require several vials of antivenom. In Evonne’s case it took four vials. That can run up to about $12, 000 not including the say at the hospital which is usually two days.
Experts also say if you see a snake in your property, don’t try to kill it yourself instead call animal control or a snake handler to remove it.