Florida man survives puff adder bite

June 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM

ORLANDO, Fla., June 16 (UPI) -- A Florida man was in serious condition after being bitten by his pet snake, an African puff adder, officials said.

John Post, 31, was bitten on the finger when he reached his hand into the cage Wednesday afternoon, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

Post regained consciousness after being given antivenin at the Orlando trauma center. The Osceola County man had a permit to keep the poisonous snake.

Post was first taken to Osceola Regional Medical center but later transferred to the Orlando trauma center. Reptile World Serpentarium owner George Van Horn provided the antivenin used to treat Post.

"A puff adder bite is something you want to take care of quick," said Van Horn, who survived a near-fatal cobra bite in 1995. "Even if it's not life-threatening -- which they often are -- it can cause a lot of tissue damage around the fang-puncture area."

The snake's venom is known as cytotoxic, meaning it attacks tissue and blood cells. An untreated bite can be fatal.

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