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10-year-old girl, elderly man seriously injured by snake bites in separate incidents

Paramedics take victims to hospitals in unrelated occurrences within an hour

Illustrative: A vipera palaestina viper in Israel. (CC BY-SA 3.0, Guy Haimovitch, Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative: A vipera palaestina viper in Israel. (CC BY-SA 3.0, Guy Haimovitch, Wikimedia Commons)

Two people were hospitalized on Friday in serious condition after two separate snake biting incidents within an hour in the north and south of Israel.

A 10-year-old girl was treated by paramedics near the Shoket Junction in southern Israel.

Semi-conscious when the medics arrived, she was then taken to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

Within an hour, a 79-year-old resident of the Emek HaYarden Regional Council area was treated by paramedics near the Elifelet Interchange, then taken in serious and unstable condition to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.

Snake sightings are common in the summer months in Israel. However, this year, there has been a spate of injuries caused by venomous bites.

Three weeks ago, an Israeli soldier was left in serious condition after he was bitten by a snake at a military base in northern Israel.

A similar incident occurred in May when a soldier in the Israeli Air Force’s elite Shaldag commando unit was also left seriously ill from a snake bite.

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers at a base in northern Israel, May 19, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)

A few days before that incident, two men in their 30s and 40s were seriously hurt after being bitten by venomous snakes near Netanya and Michmoret, according to medical officials.

Local vipers, Vipera palaestinae, are the most common venomous snakes found in Israel.

They grow to an average length of 90 centimeters (36 inches) and are mainly nocturnal. Their venom contains a hematoxin that damages blood circulation and the lymphatic system. They generally feed on small rodents, toads, and birds.

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