CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — A mother in Cary is warning others to be careful after she said her 9-year-old daughter was bitten by a copperhead snake.
Jocelyn Marks said the snake bit her daughter in their family garage last Tuesday.
It all started when 9-year-old Jacie Marks was coming home from a walk with her dad. She took off her shoes, and the snake bit her foot.
“I thought a branch hit me or something,” she said.
When she realized it was a snake, Jacie said she knew it was a copperhead thanks to a camp she went to.
“I hopped up the stairs and screamed, ‘mom I just got bit by a copperhead!’” Jacie said.
Jacie’s mom took her to the hospital, where she says doctors gave Jacie four vials of CroFab antivenom.
15 hours later, she was discharged with crutches and a swollen foot.
“It was really scary,” Jocelyn said.
According to data from WakeMed, 34 people came through its emergency room with snake bites between July 1 and Aug. 7 of this year.
That’s compared to 19 during the same time period last year.
Dr. Benjamin German, a snake expert and emergency physician at WakeMed, said it’s part of a trend they’re seeing for the last decade or more.
He said there’s a few reasons for this, including more people moving to the area, new developments in the area, hotter temperatures and more rain.
“Anytime you have a change in weather patterns or a change in climatic conditions, you can get an increased movement of snakes,” Dr. German said.
Copperheads like to hide under things such as piles of leaves or logs, and they’re more active around dawn and dusk, he said.
“What I always tell people is that if you’re outside and you feel comfortable, the snakes will feel comfortable as well,” he says.
Dr. German said anyone who finds a snake near their home should call animal control for help and avoid removing it themselves.
“The more you interact with it, the more you increase the odds you’ll be bitten,” he warns.
If someone needs to remove it themselves, he recommends using a broom or a pole to guide it out of the space they don’t want it to be.
He said it’s a good idea to be educated about what different species of snakes look like, especially a copperhead, which is the only poisonous snake in the Triangle.