Snake bite. It's what many of us fear most when it comes to the slithery serpents, and some snake bites can be extremely painful and sometimes deadly.
But did you know venomous snake bites can be avoided nearly 80% of the time, if you keep one simple thing in mind?
"Just leave snakes alone. Most people get bitten because they are trying to handle a snake that they can't identify," said Dr. Jarrod Fogarty, instructor at MSU Meridian. "They don't know whether it's venomous or not. Tell your children to stay away from snakes."
Fogarty says of Mississippi's 50 or so different snake species, only 6 or 7 are dangerous. And they usually let you know when you're too close. Rattlesnakes rattle, and water moccasins, frequently called cottonmouths, will put on a show of their own.
We live in an area that is mostly rural which makes avoiding snakes almost impossible. So what should you do when you encounter them?
"People who can't identify snakes and don't know how to handle venomous snakes shouldn't be doing it. So get in touch with someone who can. That's the best advice," said Fogarty.
As the weather continues to warm, the snakes will be coming out more and more. One thing to remember, though, is that snakes, such as a king snake, are good to have around because they will help keep the more dangerous snakes away.
Of course, snake bites will happen, and that's when you should head to the emergency room. But before you get there, here's some advice.
"Try to not be up moving around much," said Dr. Mark Miskelly, emergency medical director at Rush Hospital. "It's usually a limb that's bitten, a hand or leg. Elevate the limb. Put ice on it. Really don't do anything beyond that."
With quick medical attention most snake bite victims survive.