Snake bites expected to rise in the east

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – 9 On Your Side reported just last month on a two-year-old who survived a timber rattlesnake bite.

Now, experts are weighing in on why more of these bites may happen in our area.

“Honestly, I’d probably just run from it,” said Brandi Herring, who’s concerned about an increase in snake bites. It usually happens in eastern Carolina at the end of the summer.

“In the summer it gets so hot, you know, it’s 90, 99, 100, and they go into another sort of inactive period called estivation and it’s like a summer time hibernation,” explained Brody School of Medicine snake expert Dr. Sean Bush.

Now, snakes are coming out of hiding with additional offspring. Some hospitals in North Carolina are reporting an increase in snake bite victims.

“The babies are just, whew, everywhere,” said Bush. “Most people get bitten by these baby rattlesnakes or baby copperheads.”

He said, in the coming weeks, it will be common to find one or more venomous snakes in the east.

Snakes often hide under debris or log piles, so they blend in. If you find one take caution.

“You shouldn’t just, like, reach with your fingers under there,” said Bush. “But you can use tools. You could use a shovel or tongs.”

Herring said she’s going to be more careful and cautious, “I’ll probably be on the lookout a lot more. And like when I go to the park, just like in the grass and stuff, be more aware of them.”

The most common snakes you’ll find in eastern Carolina area are copperheads, cottonmouths, and even, sometimes, rattlesnakes, all of which are venomous.

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