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Clinical Services | Disease Investigation | Epidemiology Newsletters

Snakes

 

 

 

Not

 

in

 

Northern Idaho

 

There are no strongly venomous snakes in the five northern counties of Idaho. The only strongly venomous snake in the state of Idaho is the Western Rattlesnake. It's found in the desert areas of Central and Southern Idaho.

 

Just in Case

If you plan to hike where there is the potential for rattlesnakes, take these precautions:

  • Wear tall leather boots and long loose pants;
  • Don't overturn anything with your hands that could have a snake underneath;
  • Don't disturb or handle live snakes or what you think might be a recently dead snake. The snake could be alive;
  • Stay on trails and be aware of your surroundings.

If you encounter a rattlesnake, slowly move away from the snake with no sudden movements and keep your distance. If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, move away from the rattlesnake's territory and cleanse the wound with soap and water. If you have a commercial suction device, apply it within three minutes of the bite and leave it on for 30 minutes. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Immobilize the affected extremity, try to keep it lower than the heart, and get to a medical facility as quickly as possible.

Not all rattlesnake bites contain venom. The use of ice, tourniquets or incisions is no longer recommended for field treatment of rattlesnake bites. In severe cases, rattlesnake anti-venom can be administered at the medical facility.

 



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