Officials warn increased snake activity - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Officials warn increased snake activity

Smith County game wardens are warning East Texans about increased snake activity this summer.

Trinity Mother Francis in Tyler has confirmed at least two reported cases of copperhead bites.

Smith County game warden Chris Swift said with two bites already, he is expecting there to be high number of snake bites this summer.

"Probably, because it hasn't been as hot as last summer with more rain fall and the lakes are up. So there will probably a little more activity with snakes," Swift said.

Swift said one reason for the increases could be the amount of rainfall East Texas has received in May and April.

"When it's wet outside, and it was wetter than last summer, that moves snakes and turtles, things like that. When we have a lot of rain the snakes have to have somewhere to go," Swift said.

Dr. Kurt Nielsen of the Trinity Clinic Broadway Commons has been working with patients with snake bites for a large portion of his career. He says the most important thing to do is go to the hospital.

"You may have a bite may not look  to serious, but a day or two later the venom will start breaking down the muscles, start effecting the kidneys and start breaking down your blood," Dr. Nielsen said.

Before going to the hospital, Dr. Nielsen said it is important to call first and make sure they have the anti-venom available.

"If you're bit and wanting to go to your local ER, call ahead and make sure they have it. Because there can sometimes be a shortage based on how many bites there were that week," Dr. Nielsen said.

To avoid being bit in the first place, Swift suggests people be very careful around old wood piles and untended grass areas.

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