Snake bite puts Mitchell County man in intensive care - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Snake bite puts Mitchell County man in intensive care

Canebrake Rattlesnake Canebrake Rattlesnake
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Charles Bush is the second person in Mitchell County bitten by a venomous snake this week. A toddler was bitten by a cottonmouth moccasin Sunday and spent three days in the hospital.

Snakes are active this time of year and you should be careful.

Thirty-nine varieties of snakes call Georgia home, but there are six varieties you don't want in your field or yard. The Canebrake Rattlesnake is one of them. It's a lesson Charles Bush learned Tuesday when he was bitten on the left leg in his peanut field.

 "Yeah, this tends to be when they are starting to be a little bit more active, they're out and about more they're not denned up for the winter," says Ben Roberts of the Parks at Chehaw.

Bush was working on a Mitchell County farm, and 19-month-old Daniel Williams was playing ball in his backyard when they came across the rattlesnake and cottonmouth, so likely the bites were defensive, meaning less venom than if the snakes were attacking prey.

"Venom for any snake is a resource they've got to actually put energy into making, so they don't just use it willie-nillie," said Roberts.

Experts say, you can prevent a venomous snake bite by doing several things. "Keep your grass cut low, try not to have places for them to get under and hide under."

Because he's so young, Williams couldn't get anti-venin, but instead was treated with steroids, Benedryl, and antibiotics. Bush is receiving anti-venin, but may need several doses.

"It's extremely expensive, a thousand dollars a vile, for a snake this size for a moderate to severe bite you're going to use an excess of 20 to 30 viles," said Roberts.

With south Georgia's drought more of these types of snakes may be out looking for food that's been scarce, your best chance of seeing one is late afternoon and if you do, you'll want to give it plenty of space.

Bush is in good condition. Williams was released from the hospital yesterday and continues to recover at home.