Venomous Snakes - Volusia Magazine

Uploaded by fldoh on 20.06.2011

[Stefany Strong] They can be dangerous to
outdoor workers including farmers,
landscapers, construction workers
even children at play
near wooded areas.
We're talking about snakes.
There are a number of venomous snakes
in Florida, including
rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths
or water moccasins, and coral snakes.
Some of them call the Reptile Discovery Center
in DeLand home, and they are
here for a medical purpose.
Medtoxin Venom Laboratories opened in
1994 collecting venom
from a wide variety of venomous snakes,
to ship around the world
for use in pharmaceutical and medical research.
[sound of snake rattling]
[Carl Barden, Director] What we do on a large scale
is commercially produce snake venom
so the snakes are handled
to harvest the venom that they
produce. They use those venoms
to create an antibody in a host
animal typically a sheep or a horse
to create anti-venom.
And we are one of about
6 laboratories here in the United States
that produce venom.
[Stefany Strong] It has been estimated that
7,000-8,000 people per year
receive venomous bites in the United States,
and about 5 of those people die.
The number of deaths could be much
higher if people did not seek medical care.
[Carl Barden] So it's some what
of a grand circle
the venoms that we harvest here
are used to produce this antibody
in an animal and then
that serum is given to a
snake bite victim and that
same antibody that was created
with venom will now neutralize
that snake venom in the victim of a snake bite.
Certainly we play a role
in the development of a drug that's
created to save lives, and snake venoms
are used in a host of other medical
research applications, so again
in an abstract manner we play some
small role in that picture
and we are very happy to be doing that.
[sound of snake hissing/rattling]
[Stefany Strong] It is important for employers
to train their workers
who work outside
about their risk of exposure to
venomous snakes, how they can prevent
and protect themselves from snake bites,
and what they should do if they are bitten.
Signs or symptoms associated with a snake bite
may vary depending on the type of snake,
but may include:
A pair of puncture marks at the wound,
redness and swelling around the bite,
severe pain at the site of the wound,
nausea and vomiting,
labored breathing,
disturbed vision,
increased salivation and sweating
and numbness or tingling
around your face and/or limbs.
The Reptile Discovery Center is a
unique facility in which visitors
are exposed to a wide variety of Reptile
and Amphibian species in a controlled environment
allowing close viewing of turtles,
tortoises, lizards, alligators and most
prominently displayed, many of the worlds
most dangerous snakes.