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Snake Bite Prevention

There have already been a couple of cases of snake bites in our area this season, and local snake experts don't want you to become the next victim.

The venomous cottonmouth water moccasin is common in our area. So is the Eastern Diamondback, which Mike Jones found in his backyard.

Mike Jones, a curator at Tallahassee Museum, says, "Most of the snakes that you will find in our area are harmless snakes, like these two rat snakes. However, we do have several species which are venomous, which can make you sick or kill you if they bite you."

Nurse Rick Soskis has treated snake bite victims for more than a decade during his time in the ER. He says actual bites in our area average about 10 to 15 per year, and that treatment can take a huge bite out of your pocket.

Rick says, "It's about $1,500 a vile, and you start from six to 10 viles, depending on the severity of the bite, so it's very expensive."

Experts say these cold blooded animals are more active during warm weather, so if you plan to hike or camp out in the woods, it's important to keep that in mind.

Rick adds, "The snake has an inferred unit built in to its head and about the last 14 inches of the bite is guided by the inferred unit. Nobody can out pace it."

Soskis says if you are bitten, the first thing to do is stay calm and have someone carry you out to seek medical attention.

Mike Jones says if you're out and about in the woods it's good to avoid tall weeds, make noise when you're walking and to know where you're reaching, since a lot of snakes like to hide out under logs and in holes.


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