Eastern coral snakes are considered as reclusive animals that typically flee when noticed. Due to this, they only bite once they are handled incorrectly. Always bear in mind that snake bites from this species are not common but if an individual is bitten by one, it is extremely dangerous.
Identifying an Eastern coral snake
The Eastern coral snake is also known as the American cobra and considered as a dangerous snake due to the potency of its venom. Luckily, there is anti-venom available thus the risk for death or severe cases from a bite is minimized.
A full grown snake can reach up to 30 inches long. The females are the longest and characterized for their ring-link color patterns. There are also large sections of red and black with short segments of yellow rings in between. The head is black in color and small in size. Due to the color pattern of these snakes, they are often confused with the scarlet snake.
Even when an Eastern coral snake bites, there is likelihood that the venom will not be injected. The snake can strike several times when they do release the venom. Take note that these snakes can be very aggressive at times and they can also be calm at other times. It is believed that the females are more aggressive than the males. This is true if the female snake has eggs that are about to the deposited.
What is a dry bite?
A dry bite is when an Eastern coral snake does not inject any venom into the victim. The fangs of the snake are small in size and usually have trouble penetrating into thick clothing. In most cases, the snake can only bite an individual with a glancing blow which will not involve any venom. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the snake is out of venom. Always remember that a single bite from an Eastern coral snake holds enough venom to kill 4-5 adults.
Symptoms of an Eastern coral snake bite
The bite of an Eastern coral snake will not cause a lot of pain or swelling. The fang marks are not usually apparent since they are small. The initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sweating that typically occur 10-14 hours after a bite is delivered.
If the bite is left untreated, the individual will experience difficulty speaking, lethargy, difficulty swallowing and drooping eyelids. In severe cases, respiratory depression and arrest will occur and eventually leading to death.
What to do if an individual gets bitten by an Eastern coral snake
Once an individual is bitten by an Eastern coral snake, it is vital to identify the snake that delivered the bite. Always remember that coral snakes have the characteristic black snout as well as the alternating bands of black, red and yellow. This snake is distinguished for its yellow band that touches the red band. It is important to bring the individual to the emergency department at the nearest hospital so that emergency care can be provided.