Copperhead snake bites Kinston man

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Kinston man was bitten on his knee by a venomous copperhead Monday.

Kenny Weeks was bitten around 9:30 a.m.

He has spent time in the Mizell Memorial Hospital ICU.

Wife, Jessica, has been updating the community via social media.

“Thank you all for every message asking about Kenny and every single prayer,” she said. “They have been felt and heard. God is good and it could be so much worse, but thankful it isn’t.”

On Tuesday morning, Jessica said doctors required Kenny to stay another 24 hours in ICU for observation, and by Tuesday afternoon she said everything was maintaining and improving.

“No more spreading or swelling,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year, and those bites result in five deaths per year.

Copperheads account for a lot of bites, but their venom is considered milder than other U.S. venomous snakes.

CDC information says that most bites from copperheads come when people get close without knowing such as stepping on it.

Last week, the Star-News featured a story on what to do to prevent snake bites.

Local herpetologist Jimmy Stiles gave recommendations such as keeping clean yards and keeping it free of debris.

“Keep your grass cut short and don’t pile up burn piles around your house,” he said. “Another thing people don’t think about is leaving food outside of your house for cats and dogs it attracts rodents. If you do these things, you’re likely not to encounter many snakes.”

The Centers for Disease Control suggests to be aware that snakes may be swimming in the water or hiding under debris or other objects .

If you see a snake, back away from it slowly and do not touch it.

“Stay away from snakes,” Stiles said. “Don’t try to kill it or move it. If at all possible leave it alone. It will go away on its on. Unless it’s hiding under something, it’s on the move.”

Stiles said the majority of people who are bitten are trying to kill snakes, catch them or move them.

“Don’t ever touch a venomous snake,” Stiles said. “Even after they are ‘dead’ they can end up causing serious harm.”

Stiles said that it’s a good idea to walk around at night with a flashlight.