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SNAKEBITE

ANECDOTES, FACTS AND ADVICE FOR BEING SAFE AROUND VENOMOUS SNAKES

© GETTY IMAGES
Australia has two varieties of the venomous taipan: coastal and inland.

We have had a plethora of medical alarms and concerns in the United States this past year, including measles, plague-infested fleas, devastating new STD infections and several mosquito-borne illnesses. Yet, curiously, still low as priorities go in the U.S. this past summer has been snakebites. By many accounts, these are exponentially increasing and at a steady rate.

The Wall Street Journal devoted a major story to that issue on August 5, 2019. It highlighted reports that rapid urbanization and heavy rains had led to more snake attacks in the Carolinas and Georgia, copperheads especially.

These reports are borne out by information provided by various health authorities, almost all of which maintain that there have been 10 percent more snakebites in 2019 than 2018 and the majority blamed on urban areas that tend to encroach on “traditional snake country.”

Effectively, this forces the reptiles to find new habitats, often in leafy-covered domestic back gardens.

SNAKEBITES ON THE RISE

Still more worrying was one report from Texas that stated that snakebites in Texas were a quarter more prevalent than five years ago, the majority of strikes coming from rattlesnakes.

That said, it is not a nationwide problem, not yet anyway, with most Southeastern states as well as Texas featuring most prominently in the snakebite stakes.

The single biggest problem apparently is that many of the more dangerous snakes are able to camouflage themselves very effectively. If someone, a child especially, is not specifically aware of the danger of, for example what a copperhead with its brown or tan triangular markings actually looks like in the brush, the snakes can and often will strike without warning.

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About American Survival Guide

February 2020