In Ga., Snake Bites Begin Early In 2017; Copperheads A Threat

More than a third of snake bite calls at the Georgia Poison Control Center are copperhead bites.
Credit / Courtesy of John B. Jensen
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Authorities say they’re seeing a large number of snake bites in Georgia.


Officials at the Georgia Poison Control Center have seen 55 snake bites so far this year, they told WSB-TV.


Dr. Gaylord Lopez of the poison control center says they saw their first snakebite call of 2017 during the first week in January, which is very early compared to most years.


More than a third of their snake bite calls are copperhead bites. Lopez says they are the least venomous of the four dangerous snakes in Georgia, authorities said.


The best antidote for a snake bite comes with a steering wheel, Lopez said.


“We tell people the best antidote for a snake bite is a set of car keys,” he said. “Get to the nearest emergency room and get yourself treated.”


Mitchell Jeffords considers himself lucky despite spending three days in the hospital after a copperhead strike near a Georgia lake.


“It swelled up to almost foot long circumference,” Jeffords told WSB.


Doctors monitored his swelling to see if he would need antivenin, which patients receive after a snake digs its fangs into your skin. Doctors say Jeffords never needed it.


“They give me fluids for dehydration (and) blood thinner; took (my) blood pressure; kept (an) eye on me,” Jeffords said.