Alert....The Warm Weather is Already Causing Rattlesnake Bites
Snakes are found throughout the world and snake bites are extremely common. Typically the most common and dangerous in the U.S. are the rattlesnakes which can cause severe tissue problems and sometimes death.
The weather is warming up and rattlesnakes are waking up and creeping around so beware. In San Bernardino Count, the rattlers of San Gorgonio Pass emerge from hibernation; authorities are dealing with frequent medical emergencies when the venomous snakes and people fail to keep away from one another.
The California Poison Control Center records about 800 bites each year statewide, with one to two deaths, according to Dept. of Fish and Game.
Locally, San Bernardino & Riverside County, CA, bite victims are treated with medical care with anti-venom serum in the emergency room at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where Dr. Sean Bush, an Envenomation specialist, has worked since 1992. Dr. Bush is also kindly nicknamed “The Snake Doctor”. Dr. Bush is also a regular on “The Animal Planet”.
A snake bite can cause nerve and tissue damage and blood-clotting problems. Bush treats dozens of Inland residents each year from spring to fall, from the time the snakes awaken from their winter hibernation until they return underground for another winter.
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that in warm weather rattlesnakes are also active at night, when they hunt and eat rodents, other reptiles, and insects.
The Loma Linda emergency room doctor's advice "To avoid snakebites, leave snakes alone," Bush advises on the Loma Linda Hospital website. "Don't handle or try to kill a rattlesnake. That's how many people get bitten."
Fangs can still inject venom even after a snake is believed to be dead, Bush says. Snakes that were presumed to be dead have killed people. If you see a snake in the wild, maintain a distance of at least six feet.
Six species of rattlesnakes slither in and around Inland Southern California. The most common rattlesnake in western San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including San Gorgonio Pass, is the Southern Pacific rattlesnake. Other area rattlesnakes are the Red Diamond, Western Diamondback, Sidewinder, Southwestern Speckled and the Mojave Green. The Mojave rattlesnake is known as the deadliest in the United States: Its venom can paralyze and kill.
**Snakes are one of the scariest animals on earth and they truly are dangerous, killing over 100,000 people worldwide each year. This is many more people than die from all other animal attacks combined. "Look but don't touch," Bush advises. "Snakes are amazing creatures that deserve our respect."
Places to Look: Authorities advise to stay vigilant if you don’t want to be bitten? Rattlesnakes don't always rattle a warning. Don't wear shorts and sandals when hiking or walking in snake territory. Rattlesnakes linger in tall grass, near woodpiles, around rocks, under garden shrubs, against a house foundation. They like to find a cool, shady place in the summer heat. Keep your eyes and ears open when gardening in your yard also. Make sure to check out your garages, porches, under shady cool bushes or trees and keep vents closed from outside or covered with heavy mesh.
Winter rains and melting snow is a clue we will have a snake boom this summer. Animal control officers consider rattlesnake incidents to be priority, public-safety calls. They use snake tongs and long sticks with loops to remove a snake. Don’t touch a rattlesnake, and keep a safe distance if you come across one in your travels.
If you find a rattlesnake, call 9-1-1 and they will dispatch an Animal Control Officer to remove the snake safely.
**I came across this snake a few days ago while hiking in the hills of Yucaipa, CA. Though it is not a rattlesnake, its bite will do severe tissue damage. this snake is called a Rosy Boa and was really big though I did not get a good picture of the entire snake.
***If you do get bitten, don't attempt first-aid or tourniquets but keep the bitten area below the heart, remove all rings and watches that might constrict swelling, and get to a hospital emergency room quickly. “Stay Calm” and call 9-1-1 ASAP.
Watch the video of Dr. Bush who is kindly nicknamed “the snake doctor”.
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