Snakebites on increase in Georgia in 2017

Copperheads are commonly found in metro Atlanta. (Credit: Alan Cressler)

Copperheads are commonly found in metro Atlanta. (Credit: Alan Cressler)

Michael Jeffords is part of a painful but growing trend in Georgia this year — snakebite victims.

Jeffords was at a friend’s lake house recently when a copperhead targeted his foot. That sent him to a hospital for three days.

“I guess I got too close to the snake and he hit me,” Jeffords told Channel 2 Action News. “My buddy rushed me to the ER, they rushed me to the back, and they did what they had to do.”

His foot measured about a foot in circumference after the swelling.

“The original bite wasn’t too bad,” Jeffords said of the pain. “About 2½ to three hours later, I tried to put a little pressure on it. When I kept it elevated it was OK. When I put it down, you could feel a little throbbing.”

Officials at the Georgia Poison Control Center in Atlanta told Channel 2 they have gotten about 40 percent more snakebite calls this year than in 2016. A mild and short winter is blamed.

“We tell people the best antidote for a snakebite is a set of car keys,” Dr. Gaylord Lopez said. “Get to the nearest emergency room and get yourself evaluated and treated.”

In other news:

Experts say snake bites on the rise