First copperhead snakebite in Maryland this year is reported

Someone was bitten by a copperhead snake in Maryland.

The Maryland Poison Center has received its first call of the year regarding a copperhead snakebite, the organization reported on Facebook and Twitter this week. No further details were immediately available.

The copperhead is one of two venomous snakes native to Maryland. The other is the timber rattlesnake. Both are pit vipers and have triangular heads and fangs.

Copperhead bites are no picnic, but the venom is rarely life-threatening. Rattlesnakes are different. Left untreated, a victim could die.

Sightings of copperheads have been reported in the state for years. In 1896, two Baltimore women spending the summer at Catoctin Furnace killed a 2-foot-long copperhead snake near the hotel where they were staying, according to The Baltimore Sun archives. In 1988, a Columbia man was bitten by one in Patapsco Valley State Park.

Not every venomous snakebite results in the injection of venom. Symptoms to look out for include worsening swelling, pain and redness. The MPC advises anyone bit by a snake to stay calm, wash the bite with soapy water, and then call their offices before performing additional first aid.

The MPC can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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