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Neuroscience For Kids

Spring Signals Snakebites
April 7, 2010

snake Spring signals not only the start of warmer weather, but also the start of snakebite season. Many venomous snakes, including those with neurotoxic venoms, breed during the spring and may be more aggressive this time of year. More people and their pets also get outside as the weather improves.

According to researchers at the New Mexico and Arizona Poison and Drug Information Centers, 23,676 people in the United States were bitten by venomous snakes from 2001 through 2005. Of these people, 73% were male, 70% were adults older than 20 years and 12% were younger than 10 years. Only 14 (0.06%) of the 23,676 people who were bitten died. Rattlesnakes accounted for 25% of the bites, followed closely by copperheads (22%); cottonmouths and coral snakes, respectively, accounted for 4% and 2% of the bites. Most (84%) of the snakebites occurred from April through September.


So get outside and enjoy spring. And if you venture into areas where you might encounter some snakes, be careful where you walk and leave the snakes alone.

Did you know?
Venomous snakes can be dangerous even after they are dead. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it was reported that 14.7% of the people envenomed by rattlesnakes were "bitten" by snakes that were dead or thought to be dead.

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