Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are slithering out of their dens in the warm weather of spring, but so far only one rattlesnake bite has been reported to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center in Tucson.

“The bite was about two weeks ago, and the person was treated and is doing well,” said Keith Boesen, director of the center, which covers all Arizona counties except Maricopa. Another center keeps track of bites there.

“This is just the beginning,” Boesen said. “We anticipate that, as temperatures increase, more people will see snakes and people will be bitten. The busiest time of year for snakes is August and September. Usually October is kind of the end of the season,” although snakes can be out at any time of the year.

Boesen said about 160 bites were reported to the center last year, but there were no fatalities.

“We haven’t had a death from a rattlesnake bite in the state in several years,” he said. “But it can happen. Death is a possibility, but it’s very rare. On average, less than five people in the United States die from rattlesnake bites in a year.”

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@tucson.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz