Adder snake (illustration)
Adder snake (illustration) Thinkstock

A young 26-year-old woman from Jerusalem was bitten by a poisonous snake on Sunday evening as she hiked near the popular Ein Ampi Spring, in the region of Beit Hamekhes Junction in the Golan Heights.

The woman was classified as being in serious condition as a result of the toxic venom.

Magen David Adom (MDA) medics rushed to the scene where they gave her medical treatment, and evacuated her to Ziv Hospital in Tzfat (Safed).

Bite marks from the snake remained visible on her leg.

Dr. Yosef Nabi, director of Ziv Hospital's emergency room, said that on her way to the hospital the young woman was already suffering from breathing problems, vomiting and general instability. She is hospitalized in the emergency treatment unit.

As the weather starts to heat up heading into summer the snakes are more active in Israel, leading to a higher risk of interaction with the human population and consequently poisonous bites.

Just last July during the warm summer months a 38-year-old woman from the Golan Heights died of a snake bite while hiking in the mountainous Jordan River area.

The woman was also evacuated to Ziv Hospital, after likewise being bitten in the leg.

But before doctors had the chance to give her a serum meant to counteract snake venom, the poison caused her to suffer a stroke which deteriorated her status until she was in critical condition.

A full five days after she received the bite, the doctors were forced to pronounce her death from complications of the stroke caused by the venom.

How to stay safe

With the onset of intense summer weather, residents and visitors to Israel are warned to take particular precautions during the hot days during which snakes are especially active and slither around in fields.

Simple steps to reduce the danger in one's backyard include keeping the grass short and removing unnecessary rocks that act as a hideout for snakes and scorpions. Walking around the yard in closed shoes and long pants is also recommended.

When out on a trip in nature, one must be particularly careful to shake out tents and sleeping bags, as well as clothes and shoes before putting them on.

If someone receives a snake bite, they should be laid down and not move at all to prevent the blood from spreading the venom as much as possible. Immediately call the MDA emergency hotline at 101 to have a paramedic crew dispatched to the scene.

Contrary to popular conception, one should not to try to suck the poison out of the bite wound, or try to block the blood flow in the area or cool the region of the bite. It is advisable to try and document the markings on the snake, but do not try to capture it.