If November and December 2010 news reports are any indication, one of the most dangerous areas of co-existence between humans and snakes is the rugged and expansive landscape of Australia in summertime. One man sitting innocently at his computer, inside his home, died after a tiger snake bit him on the toe. A 12-year-old on a golf course with his parents was suddenly bitten. Two teachers in the remote Outback were bitten by a yellow-faced whip snake while supervising a Santa Claus event. Finally, a three-year-old toddler was bitten while playing in his backyard.
Fatalities Rare in U.S.
The good news is that by comparison, fatal snake bites are relatively rare in the U.S. Only a dozen people each year succumb to serpent bites, which generally look like a fictional vampire bite thanks to the snake’s two fangs. A pair of identical, symmetrical type dots are the typical trace of a snake bite.
Even though it goes against perhaps general, first-aid common sense, experts advise victims of snake bites not to wipe away traces of venom around the wound. This is because the venom can be tested at many hospitals where snake bites are common, facilitating with the identification of the snake (if it was not seen) and necessary treatment.
Beware of the Rattlesnake
The biggest danger to American hikers and trekkers is the rattlesnake, in desert and mountainous areas. There are about two dozen different kinds of rattlesnakes in the United States, with three being venomous: the coral, the copperhead and the cottonmouth.
Unfortunately, with the rise of import of exotic snakes and other animals, other types of venomous snakes not normally found in U.S. climates have been brought into the country, escaped and bitten innocent bystanders. Another important thing to remember is that a large number of additional people trying to catch the snake that bit their friend or loved one then get bitten themselves. The advice from experts is: never try to catch the snake.