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Poisonous snake bite cases up in warm weather

May 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
As the weather warms, all of nature's creatures move around and that includes rattle snakes. Medical professionals say they've been treating a record number of snakebites already this year. "I've lost count but I think we've seen a couple of dozen so far," said Dr. Sean Bush of the Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"It's more snake bites earlier in the year than I am used to seeing. Memorial Day weekend tends to be a busy time. When there's lot of snake activity and lots of people activity. I mean, the two come together, then we get a lot of snake bites," said Bush.

There are two venomous snakes in Southern California. One is the Southern Pacific Rattler and the other is a Red Diamond Back Rattler.

Bush said that the Southern Pacific Rattler generally lives in cooler climate in the mountains. They are a little darker in color and they're the ones you're likely to come across in the Inland Empire.

Eight-year-old Jake Buchanan of Murietta can testify to that. Jake was bitten in his hand by a rattler about three weeks ago in his back yard.

"I was starting to say, 'Oh Mom, I can't feel my tongue. I can't feel anywhere!'" Jake described.

He said that the hospital he went to didn't have enough anti-venom, so he had to go to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Most bite victims will survive the bite if they are treated promptly, but it can be a very long, painful experience.

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