Snakebite season has already begun

Vipers are full of venom and the most dangerous in this area.

March 22, 2016 14:37
1 minute read.
Natural History Museum

Snake, 2013. Materials: bicycle inner tube, vacuum cleaner part, spring, balloon, toy, aluminum foil cutter. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Warmer temperatures cause the awakening of snakes that hibernate all winter. Medical authorities warn the public to avoid snakes and scorpions by staying away from tall grasses and not overturning rocks, under which the creatures hide.

Emek Medical Center in Afula reports treating a 17-year-old boy from a Wadi Ara-area settlement who was bitten by a snake in the courtyard of his home. Fortunately, the snake was not venomous, but he was nevertheless hospitalized for treatment and supervision.

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Dr. Gur Zamir, a senior physician in the pediatric intensive care unit, said that the current warmer spring temperatures cause snakes to wake up earlier than usual.

Typically, the first snakebite cases reach the hospital around May, he said. He urged parents to warn children not to go barefoot outdoors and advised them to wear high top shoes when trekking.

Vipers are full of venom and are the most dangerous snakes in this area. “When they rise from hibernation, the accumulation of venom in their saliva makes them most risky. Young vipers have no characteristic diamond-shape patterns on their back; these develop later. As a result, some may get close to them, mistakenly thinking they are not poisonous.”

Anyone who sees any type of snake should run away, and anyone who is bitten should be taken immediately to a hospital emergency room, try not to move the bitten limb and should not cut into the skin to train the venom out, Dr. Zamir advised.

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