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Copperheads Biting West Tennesseans

By Joe Sullivan
By jsullivan@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. - Carol Reese was recently bitten by a copperhead snake. She was walking in the woods in Henderson County when she felt something attack her leg, just above the ankle.

Reese said, "First I thought it was a wasp sting. That is what it feels like because you can actually feel the venom piercing immediately."

Reese walked fifteen minutes up hill back to her house, got in her car and drove to the hospital.

Reese said, "I went to the Lexington Emergency Room. First I felt fine until thirty minutes after the bite when my heart began to race and my face began to flush and soon I was violently ill sick to my stomach."

Reese was given the anti-venom and spent three days in the hospital.

This past week two people were taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital suffering from copper head snake bites. The cure is relatively new.

Reese said, "They actually inject sheep with the poison from these snakes and create the anti venom."

Pets have also been a target of the copperhead snakes this year. Dogs get a little too close and get a bite to the face or paw.

Dr. Jim Russell, Jackson Animal Clinic said, "Our most common one is the copperhead . Many times the copperheads bite can be treated effectively without using anti venom."

Reese was walking with her dogs when she was bitten. Her dogs usually let her know when a snake is around, this time they were off chasing a rabbit.