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How to Deal With Snakebite Season in North Carolina

You are currently viewing How to Deal With Snakebite Season in North Carolina
Copperhead snakes are the most common venomous biters in the state.
  • Post category:News

As we move into warmer weather and summer climates, we also move into the summer season of snakes and snakebites. This is especially true in North Carolina, which often times takes the place in the lead for reported number of bites from both venomous and non-venomous snakes. According to the reports, the bites most often happen in suburban neighborhoods. However, the reported bites are usually higher in these areas simply because of population density. The more people in an area with a high number of snakes, the higher the number of reported snake bites.

Most of the reported snakebites from a venomous breed in North Carolina are said to be from copperheads.

Dr. Sean Bush, an envenomation expert from Duke Health, has given statements on his theories as to why copperheads are most often responsible for the bites. He states that they are particularly good at camouflaging and staying hidden. Dr. Bush explained their behavior and abilities by saying, “they can live amongst you and you’ll never even see them.” Because of this, he went on to further explain, bites most often occur in one’s own yard. Snakes lie low in your own property and strike when you do not expect to see them.

Duke University Hospital has already treated at least 10 people with antivenom this season.

Other emergency rooms have been reporting similar case amounts. Dr. Gerardo, a doctor with Duke University Hospital, said these numbers are very common at this point in the year. He also explained an interesting pattern that usually occurs in which the case load often goes up and down, having patches of high numbers of cases sporadically. He stated this is a common occurrence each year, but they have not really managed yet to understand why this occurs.

Annually, Duke University Hospital typically sees up to 65 cases of snakebites.

Around the state, antivenom has to be on hand at every hospital, as bit cases come in often enough to warrant these cases. Dr. Gerardo did express that copperhead bites are not usually lethal, but nonetheless they can be quite gruesome and cause other health problems down the line if they go untreated.

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