Snakebite Underlying Cause
Snakebite Coral Snakes
There are only 2 species of coral snakes in the United States. They are small snakes with distinct, bright red, yellow, and black rings.
Coral snakes may produce a very small bite, because they chew the victim instead of injecting venom with long fangs. Very small amounts of coral snake venom can cause severe symptoms. Coral snake venom is toxic to the nervous system, where it blocks impulses from the nerves to the muscles. Coral snakes are most prevalent in the Southeast, particularly in Florida.
Snakebite Pit Vipers
Pit vipers include:
Identifying characteristics of pit vipers include:
- An indentation, or pit, halfway between the snake's eyes and nostrils
- Retractable fangs
- Vertical pupils
- Arrowhead shaped head
Pit viper venom injures the tissue near the bite and damages blood vessels, causing:
- Destruction of red blood cells
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
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