Central Texas toddler's snake bite prompts concerns

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - Central Texas residents are expressing concerns about snake activity after a 1-year-old boy was hospitalized from a rattlesnake bite.

The toddler is recovering after being bitten on the hand by a 1-foot-long (0.3-meter) rattlesnake while playing outside his home in Abilene Tuesday, the Abilene Reporter-News reported.

Taylor County's game warden James Cummings said he's been fielding more calls about rattlesnakes recently. Increased snake activity is linked to a growing rodent population, the reptile's food source, he said. Heat is another factor since snakes try to find shade and cooler spots in the summer months, Cummings said.

Rattlesnakes are born in the summer, particularly in July and August.

Abilene Animal Services Director Mirenda Walden said there hasn't been more snake activity in one area of the city over another.

Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene has treated nine patients in the area for rattlesnake bites this year, including the most recent case with the 1-year-old boy.

Hospital spokeswoman Jesiree Driskell said this year's number of patients treated for snake bites is about the same as last year.

The Abilene Regional Medical Center has treated 15 people for rattlesnake bites since January 2017, including two in the last month, said spokeswoman Delores Cox.


Information from: Abilene Reporter-News, http://www.reporternews.com