September Issue: Abstract

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Abstract of Texas Medicine Journal Article -- September 2004

Epidemiology of Snakebites Reported to Poison Centers in Texas From 1998 Through 2002

By Mathias B. Forrester, BS, and Sharilyn K. Stanley, MD

The 15 species and subspecies of poisonous snakes endemic to Texas include all of the major poisonous snakes in the United States. Rates of poisonous snakebites have been reported to be higher in Texas than in most other states. However, epidemiologic data on poisonous and nonpoisonous snakebites are limited. Using data on snakebites to humans reported to the six poison centers inTexas, we examined associations with various demographic and clinical factors. The reported snakebite penetrance increased from 1998 through 2002. Most of the reported snakebites involved adults. Males were more likely to have reported snakebites than females. Most reported snakebites had mild-to-moderate outcomes. Snakebites were reported most frequently in the spring and summer. The geographic pattern of reported poisonous snakebites was generally consistent with the reported distribution of the types of poisonous snakes.

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