A 38-year-old woman from the Golan Heights was pronounced dead on Wednesday, after suffering complications caused by a snake bite she received on Saturday while hiking in the mountainous Jordan River area.
The woman was evacuated to the Ziv Hospital in Tzfat (Safed) after being bitten in the leg. According to the Magen David Adom (MDA) crew that evacuated her, she was suffering from shock and was in a state of hazy consciousness.
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.
On Wednesday morning, after intensive efforts, the doctors were forced to pronounce her death.
As Israel enters intense summer weather, residents are warned to take particular precautions during the hot days during which snakes are particularly active and slithering 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, special attention must be paid in shaking 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. The MDA emergency hotline at 101 should be dialed immediately to call up a paramedic crew 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.