More Snake Sightings, Attacks as Warmer Weather Returns
WESLACO – Experts are warning about snakes slithering out of their dens as summer weather approaches.
A man from El Salvador is recovering after being bit multiple times by a snake while crossing the border illegally. It’s one of many snake sightings in the Rio Grande Valley over the last couple of days.
U.S. Border Patrol agents found the man unconscious and sent him to a nearby hospital for treatment.
With 15 potentially dangerous snake species in Texas it’s important to know how to react in case something similar happens.
Tomas Martinez with Medicare EMS said snakebite victims should remain calm and collected as they are being treated.
“Stay calm. Be as still as possible. When we get there, we’re going to do the same thing. Try to calm them down,” he said. “We want your heart rate to be normal. The faster it beats, the faster it can go through your body.”
Martinez said people should always avoid the old myth of sucking out the venom with your mouth.
“That is a bad idea because if you did suck any poison out, it’s now in your body and because your mouth is very vascular, the poison has an entrance into your body,” he explained.
The first responder said they are trained to treat patients accordingly.
“Based on the type of snake, we’ll give them anti-venom or the doctor will decide whether to give them anti-venom,” he said.
He added another myth to avoid is trying to capture the snake to show the doctor.
“If you do get bit by a snake, a good thing to do is take a picture of it so we can know what kind of snake,” he said.
Martinez said an image will let the doctor know best how to treat a victim. Regardless, he said it’s best to let the professionals take care of a snake bite.
“Leave it alone, still, and call 911,” he advised.
Texas Parks and Wildlife said people should only take a picture of the snake when they’re at a safe distance. They also offer information on what snakes to avoid as summer approached in south Texas.