On 29th July, a 20-year-old girl walking into the Zhengjiang hospital and stood in front of Doctor Huang’s desk with what could be considered an unusual companion: a snake was wrapped around her wrist.


Photo credit: 人民日报

"My phone fell out onto the grass while I was strolling outside,” the girl explained, “and that’s when the snake bit me. It wrapped itself around my hand and began crawling up my arm so I grabbed it right away!”

Dr. Huang checked the girl’s wound as soon as she explained the situation (although having a snake wrapped around your arm is pretty straightforward). Fortunately, she was out of danger: “This snake is called a  dinodon rufozonatum snake which is a non-venomous species of brown colors,” the doctor told us.


photo credit: 人民日报

Hats off to this girl for being so brave; how could she possibly grab a wild snake that way?! Luckily for her, the wound wasn’t too bad but even in the case of a bite from a non-venomous snake, you should still take special care and watch for any potential infections.

Doctor Huang warned that snakes appear frequently as temperatures continue to rise: “19 patients have come to me to report a snake bite,” he recalled. “Once you’ve been bitten, it is important to take first aid immediately and not to panic. First of all, you should keep the snake's shape and appearance in mind so you can describe it to your doctor as precisely as possible. That way, he or she can choose an accurate antitoxin based on the snake that bit you, but we don't recommend grabbing the snake if it bites you a second time."

Doctor Huang also suggests that one should cover their wounded limb with bandages to prevent the venom from expanding any further throughout the body. You should dial 120 to receive an emergency treatment either on site or at a nearby hospital.


Photo credit: 人民日报

Snakes usually hide during day and come out at night, and prefer living in humid areas with dense grassland. Obviously, people should avoid going to these places, but if walking through the grass is necessary, we recommend you do so using a long stick or a tree branch to help see through it clearer and scare the snakes away.


Photo credit: 人民日报

Emergency treatment

You should seek urgent treatment as soon as you’ve been bitten by a snake. Patients who are able to go to a hospital within two hours after their contact with the snake can usually be treated with no damaging consequences and prevent the venom from spreading. Note that a wound caused by a non-venomous snake differs from a contact with a venomous one. If you’ve been bitten by the latter, please keep the following instructions in mind:


If you’re ever bitten by a snake, take a look at the bite mark. If their fangs show a single line on your wound, it means the snake you’ve been bitten by is venomous. If it shows two rows of fang marks, then it’s non-venomous. But most importantly, just be wary of your surroundings at all times and be safe.