US Coral Snake Anti-Venom Supply Running Low

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, Florida-The U.S. is running low on an anti-venom for one of its deadliest snakes.

Last October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned its supply of coral snake anti-venom was diminishing.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals , the only U.S. licensed manufacture of the venom is no longer making it because it's not profitable.

The supply of anti-venom was expected to expire last year.

The FDA extended the expiration date until the end of this month. Coral snakes are one of the deadliest snakes in Florida.

"If the venom gets in then you would start losing control of your movement and have difficulty breathing. It would be a serious injury," says Mike Jones, a wildlife expert.

The FDA says Pfizer, the parent company of Wyeth, will send supplies out to customers as needed.

On average, about 12 people a year die from venomous snake bites in the U.S.

The last time Tallahassee Memorial Hospital says it cared for a patient bitten by a coral snake was in the late 1980s.

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