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What is a venomous (poisonous) snake bite?
A venomous (poisonous) snake bite is a bite or a puncture wound made by a
snake that is capable of injecting, secreting, or spitting a toxin into the
penetrated skin wound, mucus membranes or the eyes where the toxin can be absorbed.
In North America, there are about 25 species of snakes able to secrete toxin.
However, non-native poisonous species are present in zoos and held in private
homes or other areas by snake collectors. Consequently, almost any type of
venomous snake bite can be encountered in the US. About 7,000 snake bites are
reported in the US per year, but because snake bites are not required to be
reported, it is estimated that up to 45,000 bites per year may occur with about 8,000 by
poisonous snakes. The most common venomous snakes in the US are rattlesnakes,
copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins, and coral snakes.