We’re hearing from readers there has been an increase in the number of snake sightings recently in Alexandria, Virginia along the Potomac River waterfront. It is not unusual for snakes to look for higher ground after a rain storm like the one on Sunday. In urban and suburban settings, Alexandria, Virginia residents are more likely to run into a copperhead snake.
Here’s one of the emails we received:
Hello! I live in north Old Town and was out by the river yesterday, and I saw handmade signs warning of water moccasins and copperhead snakes and warning people to stay off the rocks. I hope there wasn’t an incident that preceded the creation of these signs, but at the very least, it seems like someone saw one! I just wanted to spread the word.
What to do if a snake bites:
- Stay Calm. Get the patient to the nearest hospital right away! Call 911.
- Try to identify the snake by sight only. Look for color, patterns and head shape.
- Do not try to kill the snake; it could bite again.
- Keep the patient calm and immobile (preferably lying down).
- Keep the affected limb at an even level with the rest of the body.
- Do not give the patient food, drink or medication (e.g., pain medications, alcohol, etc.).
- Do not use a tourniquet.
- Do not cut the wound.
- Do not try to suck out the venom.
- Do not pack the wound in ice. Bites from non-venomous snakes should be washed with warm soapy water; a tetanus shot may be needed.
(Photo by Dewita Soharjono, on Flickr)