10 Mar 2010

Spate of snake attacks in Australia

6:19 pm on 10 March 2010

Warm weather combined with the recent rain over large parts of Australia has increased the prevalence of snake attacks, experts warn.

Eight people have been bitten by snakes in New South Wales in the past week and six people in Queensland were taken to hospital on Tuesday after being bitten, the ABC reports.

Among them was a 26-year-old man who was taken to Ipswich Hospital with a suspected brown snake bite, and a snake handler who was bitten twice on the face by a deadly eastern brown snake at his home at Aberdeen in the Upper Hunter Valley.

A woman in her 40s is in a serious condition in hospital after being bitten on the foot by a snake in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney.

Among those treated in Queensland was a 15-month-old boy who was taken to Bundaberg Hospital with puncture wounds to his stomach.

A spokesman for Sydney's Taronga Zoo says the warm weather means it's peak snake season, and recent rain has brought out other animals which snakes eat.

An ambulance spokesman advises snake bite victims to remain still to prevent venom being pumped through the lymphatic system, apply a pressure bandage to the affected area and call emergency services.