It's the 3rd worst drought in Texas history - and snakes in the Brazos Valley have noticed. By May, St. Joseph Emergency Centers had already seen more patients with snake bites than they expected to see the entire summer.
The drought comes as St. Joseph Regional Health Center is participating in a clinical trial for a new type of antivenom. Currently, antivenom is expensive to produce, expensive for hospitals and expensive for patients. Only two companies produce it. Because of the expense and shelf-life, at times there have been shortages.
The antivenom being tested at St. Joseph and other hospitals is in the final stage of FDA approval. If approved, the hope is that a third competitor might help lower the cost and make it more widely available.
If you believe you may be candidate, ask about the snake bite study at a St. Joseph Emergency Room.