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Snakes in the news

Quinn Schuler Reports
Rattlesnake bites reach record high in Tucson

Sep 23, 2007 07:46 PM
Over the holiday weekend, rattlesnakes bit seven people in Tucson alone, including one woman at a home in the Foothills.

Paula Banfield says her friend was in from New York to visit this holiday weekend and a rattlesnake bit her while she was taking out the trash.

"I heard her say ouch and ran to the door.  I just knew as soon as I heard her say ouch, she had been bitten by a snake," Banfield said.

Banfield says her friend is going to be okay after her fourth dose of antivenin. She says she should be out of ICU by Wednesday.

According to poison control, August was a record-setting month for rattlesnakes with more than 40 people suffering bites.

August and September are the peak months for this problem because rattlesnakes are giving birth.

When a female rattlesnake gives birth, she can have about 20 or more snakes at a time.

And when they are done giving birth, poison control says they are very hungry and that's when they go looking for food.

Woman Dies Of Rattlesnake Bite
POSTED: 8:14 am PDT October 9, 2007
UPDATED: 5:17 pm PDT October 9, 2007
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A Paulden woman has died after being  bitten by a rattlesnake over the weekend.
Yavapai County sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Quayle said the death is extremely rare but serves as a reminder that even with modern antivenin treatment, snakes can kill.
  READ: More About Mohave Rattlesnakes
Quayle said 63-year-old Jackie Ledwell was outside Saturday when she was bitten on the foot, and was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment. She died the next day.
County Animal Control workers located the snake and killed it. They determined it was a Mohave rattlesnake, the deadliest of the species found in Arizona.
"The Mohave has the capability of carrying a neurotoxic property in its venom which makes it the deadliest  snake in the state," said Dan Marchand of the Phoenix Herpetological Society.
"The venom will shut down your nervous system. So you'll have trouble breathing and then the rest of your bodily functions will stop," he said.
Roughly 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year, but fewer than 15 deaths are reported.
In Ledwell's case, the snake's deadly bite proved shocking to even those  who remove snakes in the area.
Quayle said the public should be extra careful this time of year, because snakes are often found sunning themselves and can strike unsuspecting walkers.

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