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Girl, 7, bit 3 times by pygmy rattlesnake

June 4, 2009 at 5:41 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 4 (UPI) -- A 7-year-old Florida girl was bitten three times by a pygmy rattlesnake, doctors say.

The girl, identified only by her first name, Allison, spent three days at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville after she was bitten last Saturday, WJXT-TV in Jacksonville reported. On Wednesday, she was home, although doctors said complete recovery should take about two weeks.

Allison said she and her younger brother were in her secret hideout at her home in Clay County.

"I was under the deck and scooting out on my bottom. I didn't know what poked me," Allison said.

Her mother said she called emergency services when she saw swelling in her daughter's hand, foot and hip. At the time, she thought Allison had encountered a spider, but doctors at the hospital identified the bites as those of a pygmy rattlesnake.

"She had seven rounds of anti-venin," Allison's mother said. "They told us most snake patients get around three rounds of the antivenin, but because she was bitten three times. It was scary."

Allison said she has learned an important lesson. From now on, she plans to check for snakes before she puts her hand, foot or bottom anywhere.

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