SHAWNEE, Okla. – Snake bites are on the rise in Oklahoma.
Doctors at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Shawnee say the number of patients treated for venomous snake bites over the last two months is almost double the number of cases from 2017.
“We’ve had a couple of copperheads but mainly it`s been the pygmy rattlers are the ones that we’ve seen the most of,” said Dr. John Fitzgerald. “They’re very rampant right now.’
So far, 12 people have been treated for the bites. The hospital says most of those people were outdoors in bushy areas when they were bitten.
Anti-venom treatment costs more than $10,000 for just a few ounces and it can take several doses of the medicine to treat someone.
As for the rise, doctors aren’t completely sure. They say it may have to do with the increase in rain and heat.
If you do get bitten by a venomous snake, what should you do on your way to the hospital?
“The more that you panic and the more that you start to raise your heart, that`s going to pump that venom around,” said Dr. Fitzgerald.