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Coral snakes are found in tropical regions of North America and are often confused with nonpoisonous (nonvenomous) milk snakes because they look similar.
A coral snake can be up to 3 ft (1 m) long and has:
- Red, yellow, and black bands along the length of the body.
- Round pupils and a black nose.
- Fangs. Coral snakes tend to chew on their victims for a few seconds and may leave tooth marks with or without fang marks.
At first, mild pain may be the only symptom of a coral snake bite. Within 90 minutes, a feeling of weakness or numbness may occur in the bitten extremity.
Other symptoms may appear up to 12 to 24 hours after a bite. Symptoms may include:
- Increased salivation and drooling.
- Drowsiness or euphoria.
- Slurred speech.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Numbness and tingling (paresthesia).
Symptoms that occur less often include double vision, trouble breathing, sweating, muscle aches, and confusion. In rare cases, a person may die from a coral snake bite.
If you think you have been bitten by a coral snake, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist|
|Last Revised||June 6, 2012|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: June 6, 2012|
|Medical Review:||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist
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