"Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

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frodaman
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"Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by frodaman »

The Ring-Necked snake, The sand snake, the Hognose snake, and the Nightsnake are some examples of "mildly venomous" snakes, or snakes with "mildly venomous saliva". In reading up on these snakes(which mostly consist of colubrids), I cannot find any further information on the venom, or saliva rather than that it is "Mildly toxic" or "not dangerous to humans". Can anyone further elaborate on this? What are the properties of the venom? If anyone has been bitten by a snake with such venom or saliva, are there any ill-effects? (i.e swelling, redness, etc.) And are there any scenarios in which a bite from a "mildly venomous" colubrid can be fatal? (i.e. allergies?)

Thanks guys ;)

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chrish
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by chrish »

Somewhere online there used to be a series of photos a fairly serious bite from a Western Hog. Mind you, this was a feeding error and the "victim" allowed himself to be chewed on for an extended period of time. Several others have photos of inflammation around bite sites from hogs as well.

I have seen some minor inflammation around bites by some gartersnakes that clearly aren't just due to the puncture wounds.

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Don Becker
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

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frodaman
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by frodaman »

3 to 5 minutes!? Didn't getting chewed on by a snake entertain him or what?

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herpseeker1978
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by herpseeker1978 »

My wife got bit by a prairie ringneck and it got red around the bite and that was about it.

Josh

spllogics
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by spllogics »

I sometimes get swelling from garter snakes, and often wondered the same with hog, if it was the diet of toads and the introduction of bufo toxin to the saliva.

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Don Becker
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Don Becker »

I've been bitten by Eastern, Mexican, and Southern Hogs, and have had no real reactions to any of them. One of the times my female mexican bit me, I had very minor localized swelling right at the bite site, but it was more consistent with swelling from a puncture wound.

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spinifer
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by spinifer »

psyon wrote:I've been bitten by Eastern, Mexican, and Southern Hogs, and have had no real reactions to any of them. One of the times my female mexican bit me, I had very minor localized swelling right at the bite site, but it was more consistent with swelling from a puncture wound.
Are you sticking your finger in their mouth?? :crazyeyes:

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Don Becker
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Don Becker »

spinifer wrote:Are you sticking your finger in their mouth?? :crazyeyes:
In one case yes. I brought in a large eastern hog a few years back that had bad wounds all over it's body. We were trying to keep it alive long enough while it's wounds healed, and planned to use it for programs. It would not eat on it's own, and I had to shove some toads and mice in it's mouth. Once I got them in, itwould swallow them on its own. It managed to bite my thumb quite a few times.

I just had an eastern hog in the wild bite my finger while were were trying to get a shot of it in a defensive posture as well.

My mexicans and southern hog have all mistaken my fingers for pinkies at one point or another. My southern had hits mouth up to the first knuckle of my middle finger before I realized it was even biting me. It got a fang right down along side of my finger nail.

ThomWild
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by ThomWild »

There was an article in Toxicon called "The toxic Duvernoy's secretion of the wandering garter snake, Thamnophis elegans vagrans" by Darwin K Vest. He tests the LD50 of a vagran's Duvernoy secretions. I don't remember it off the top of my head but it was comparable to a wasp if I remember correctly. They also tested the effect it had on rodents and they showed that it caused pretty severe pulmonary hemorrhaging.

I have had a fairly large vagrans female cause some pretty bad swelling/irritation that lasted a couple of days. I will note that I am also allergic to bees and just about everything else (I was the kid that had to suck down the inhaler throughout the day).

Here is a link to an article I thoroughly enjoy on the topic of "Warm Herps": http://www.anapsid.org/duvernoygland.html

-Thomas

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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Verhoodled »

Years ago I had a 2 foot eastern garter bite and chew on my wrist upon removing it from a neighbors garden bed upon the owner's insistence. It chewed for 20-30 seconds as I marveled at its vigor and gently removed it from my wrist. The amount of blood seeping out was notably disproportionate to the wound such that I checked the animal's mouth to make sure it wasn't bleeding. There seemed to be something anticoagulant in nature going on there. I've been unable to replicate since with other "chewy" garters.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Kelly Mc »

a big blue girl in jacksonville fl got a very good grip on, base of thumb , wrist and made my arm swell and ache. i remember it even being tender under my armpit . im not allergic to anything , bees , nothing . it was surprising . any thamnophis bites since then have been unmemorable .

she was also the biggest garter i ever saw in person tho ive heard of large specimens . she had been teased with sticks to limp exhaustion by some little boys in a trailer court so i took her , put her in a cardboard box and when i opened the box the next morning to check on her she let it all hang out . im glad she got to bite Somebody !

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Biker Dave
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Biker Dave »

You might want to check out http://www.venomdoc.com . It is Dr Brian Frye's site.

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Chris Smith
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Chris Smith »

Here is an interesting book that recently came out...

http://www.amazon.com/Venomous-Bites-No ... 314&sr=8-1

Several FHF member's photos made it into the book (including a couple of mine :) ).

Unfortunately the print version is black and white....

-Chris

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Chris Smith
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Chris Smith »

Also see:

Wiensein and Keyler 2009

-Chris

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MHollanders
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by MHollanders »

Read some papers by Freek Vonk and Bryan Fry. They have done research on venom and basically a lot of lizards and snakes are "venomous".

A friend of mine recently told me about a bite he received from a night snake (it chewed a little too). He said it swelled up to his elbow and that it felt like a lighter was burning his skin at the bite site but it only lasted a day or two.

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Joshua Jones
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Joshua Jones »

:? Nightsnakes were already known to be mildly venomous. Why do people let their mildly venomous snakes chew on them? I don't let my nonvenomous snakes do that, let alone my hots. Curiosity is one thing, but I can't help but feel some of this is just stupidity. I don't need to get chewed on to know it's venom. Mild venom, granted, but still not at all likely to improve one's current condition.

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by ThamnElegans24 »

I had a reaction to a Lyresnake bite earlier this year. It started with a strong burning pain at the site of the bite which was shortly followed by tingling that lasted about an hour.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Brian Hubbs »

I was bit by a rosy boa (feeding response) once. It really hurt...and drew blood... :roll: They have sharp teeth.

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by ThamnElegans24 »

That poor Rosy Boa.

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dery
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by dery »

luckily i've been taged by garters, ribbons, and ringnecks; but never the fangs, nor any local swelling.

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dery
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by dery »

Brian Hubbs wrote:I was bit by a rosy boa (feeding response) once. It really hurt...and drew blood... :roll: They have sharp teeth.
ive had a charcoal corn swallow my finger, yet rosies are more powerful than corns which also draws blood but beardies draw more and break skin, but ive been bit by beardies too the first year i had them that's how ive tamed all my beardies. and you're lucky if you never been tagged herping, its too late for me :lol:

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roosters977
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by roosters977 »

Verhoodled wrote:Years ago I had a 2 foot eastern garter bite and chew on my wrist upon removing it from a neighbors garden bed upon the owner's insistence. It chewed for 20-30 seconds as I marveled at its vigor and gently removed it from my wrist. The amount of blood seeping out was notably disproportionate to the wound such that I checked the animal's mouth to make sure it wasn't bleeding. There seemed to be something anticoagulant in nature going on there. I've been unable to replicate since with other "chewy" garters.

I had a similar experience. I was with a friend and we pulled up a tarp and there was a garter, apparently he did not see it and he almost step on it and I grabbed it. It ended up biting me 10-20 times and I was bleeding so much! It made me wonder about anticoagulants in its saliva.

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Jeremy Westerman »

Someone already pointed out this book
"Venomous” Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk and Management of "Colubrid” Snake Bites
Scott A Weinstein (Author), David A. Warrell (Author), Julian White (Author), Daniel E Keyler (Author)

It talks at length on this subject. Only two rear-fanged colubrids that I know of (Boomslang and Twigsnake) have caused human deaths, but mild to severe reactions have been recorded for many other supposed harmless snakes. Red Keelbacks and False water cobras come to mind.
Some have prey specific toxins that don't affect mammals, some have mildly toxic saliva, some have Duvernoy's glands that leave protein rich venom-like secretions, some have grooved or enlarged rear fangs. The book is interesting and informative although the pictures are in black and white and it is a bit pricey for it's size.

Garter snake saliva has been known to leave a mild reaction in a small number of people bitten usually edema, swelling, bleeding (duh, you just got punctured) and bruising or discoloration. Of the so called "mildly venomous" Snakes of the Southwest most such as Black head snakes, night snakes, Ringnecks, etc most are too small to effectively deliver a bite and release enough toxin to show any signs of "envenomation" on a person. Some snakes might get large enough such as the Lyre snake that a slightly more serious reaction could occur.

All in all though these animals, although technically having "toxins" should still be considered non-venomous as they do not contain a true venom gland or venom delivery apparatus such as a hollowed or grooved fang and they do not pose a serious medical threat or risk of fatality. Most bites are harmless and interesting unusual mild to severe reactions very rarely occur. I cannot tell you how many times I have been bitten by garters, and I have even been bitten by a false water cobra with naught but tiny pinpricks of the mechanical fang damage to show for it.

It has be suggested that anything that is an anatomical homologue to venom glands or the complex proteins in venom should be considered venomous. I resist that concept wholeheartedly and scoff at the notion of it. Next thing we know garters will be labelled as hots and all monitor lizards are venomous. I got news for you I have been bitten by Nile monitors, Water Monitors, Savanna Monitors and I can assure you they are not venomous. (Not withstanding the bit of a Komodo Dragon which is bacteria laden and causes sepsis and death by septic shock. It is still not venomous though.) There are only two truly venomous lizards in the world, the Mexican Beaded Lizard and the Gila Monster. The only truly dangerous venomous snakes are Elaphids, Viperids, and Atractaspidids with the curious exception of the a few Colubrids, the Boomslang and twigsnake and possibly a Keelback. But even these exception Colubrid snakes are timid, rarely bite and pose scant loss of life potential. very few deaths have been recorded at all. Egg white or albumin is chemically very similar to venom should it be considered venomous? So is human saliva toxic as well if it can produce similar symptoms if introduced to a wound? I snagged this little gem from Wikipedia (who knew that they could have useful info sometimes?)
"Other scientists such as Dr. Bryan Fry maintain that the Duvernoy gland is a primitive version of a venom gland and should be referred to as such.
Because the secretions of this gland are associated with the swallowing behavior of snakes, the Duvernoy's gland may play a role in swallowing and/or digestion. Kardong also notes that although some Duvernoy’s gland secretions may be toxic and that they can produce pain, swelling, and other effects if injected subcutaneously; this does not make those secretions venoms." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duvernoy%27s_gland

I do not like Dr. Fry's case for everything under the sun is a venom and neither do most venom researchers such as Dr. Kardong.
http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/mido ... ution2.htm

Funny little garter snake page:
http://www.anapsid.org/duvernoygland.html

book links:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780123877321

http://www.amazon.com/Venomous%C2%94-Bi ... 0123877326

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Jeremy Westerman »

This topic has been mentioned on the forums before and the author of the book mentioned above Scott Weinstein even chimed in with a few posts. find it here:

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... f=2&t=7572

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CR3SS
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by CR3SS »

Has anybody been bitten by a lyre? I released an anery because I wasn't sure of whether keeping it was safe.

SAW
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by SAW »

It's good to see another thoughtful discussion of this topic. Internet fora that touch on this topic all too commonly contain only scattered general facts derived from the highly publicised research of the past few years, and there is rarely awareness of the totality of the literature. While the recent research is certainly interesting and stimulating, there are other valid interpretations, and these do not constitute being a "venom denier" as I have been told that my colleagues and I have been termed on occasion. I recently posted the link below this post in the string discussing our book in the Literature Reviews section here.

The link below contains our further discussion of the terms "venom", "venomous" , "mildly venomous", "toxic saliva", etc., as well as the paper by Fry et al. that criticised our call for caution regarding premature use of this terminology. Thus, it is important to consider both sides of the discussion and these are accessible in the link to our website below. It also contains some specific examples of non-front-fanged colubroids that, following the traditional consensus definition, are "venomous". Although it is repetitively stated in our published material in the link, it is important to note that any possible significant medical effects or lack thereof of bites from these snakes should not be used as criteria to define those that are "venomous" and those that are "non-venomous" (this is explained in the link).
Although I am not here to re-visit the debate (part of which is in the link from the other discussion as provided by Jeremy above), a couple of brief comments per contents in this present string:

Verified fatalities caused by non-front-fanged colubroids have been recorded only for: Dispholidus typus (boomslang), Thelotornis kirtlandii (Kirtland's twig, bird or vine snake), T. capensis (Cape twig, bird or vine snake), Rhabdophis tigrinus (Tiger keelback or yamakagashi), and life-threatening bites have been inflicted by R. subminiatus (red-necked keelback). Only these taxa have recorded cases that are clinically acceptable in quality and quantity of documented evidence. Other bites such as those inflicted by Boiga irregularis (brown tree snakes on Guam, not natural populations in northern Australia or PNG) on a handful of pediatric patients have produced very serious effects in about 5 patients (this is out of >450 well-documented bites). However, as B. irregularis is also a powerful constrictor and this played a role in almost all of these 5 cases, the basis for the clinical evolution of these cases is unclear. There is much published misinformation, as well as painfully incorrect comments on the Internet about the medical significance and possible hazard posed by so many species; this is one of the reasons why we published the aforementioned book (I won't plug it further as I already have). Examples of some of the concerns re correctly applied terminology arise from several realities: the need for appropriate and fact-based hazard assignment for a given species; prevention of inappropriate and ineffective treatments potentially being used per bitten victims, and prevention of unnecessary and dramatically over-reaching statutory regulation of some species in the commercial trade (there are additional concerns as well).

There are only a few mixed quality documented cases of bites by Trimorphodon spp. None produced anymore than mild local reaction, but none of these cases were published by medically qualified authors (this does matter). I personally have had 2 insignificant (and somewhat protracted, ranging between 30 sec to 1 min) bites from two different specimens of T. biscutatus, but a large specimen of one of the approx. 7 taxa comprising the genus might be able to produce more significant effects. However, there is no evidence of this to date.

Lastly, thanks for your comments, Jeremy. I do regret the black and white photos, but the book was an e-book in the first instance and that version does have colour photos. Also, the price tag is publisher-determined and unfortunately almost all sub-specialty books in medicine and science have become quite expensive.
Kind regards, Scott Weinstein

Below is the link mentioned above:

http://www.toxinology.com/fusebox.cfm?s ... nology.htm

Bold Cub
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Bold Cub »

My anecdotal two cents: I was bitten by a smallish Eastern Gartersnake, it had me for about 15 seconds or so while I tried to remove it, and the next day the area around the bite was red and a bit swollen and I had a crappy headache. Maybe it was from the snakebite, maybe not. It lasted about a day or two.

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mikem
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by mikem »

A friend of mine was chewed on by a garter for a minute or so.. can't remember exactly how long.. he didn't pull it off because he was afraid of injuring it, so he just let it do its thing until it let go. There was some decent swelling and bruising around the bite area.

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Steve Bledsoe »

The amazing thing to me is that it has taken all of this time to discover the toxicity of species we once thought of as totally benign.
In the past, researchers were only concerned with whether or not these species were dangerous to humans.
Snakes are truly fascinating highly specialized predatory creatures, products of millions years of intricate evolution, and we are just now realizing how special they really are.
Cool stuff.

Verhoodled
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Verhoodled »

CR3SS wrote:Has anybody been bitten by a lyre? I released an anery because I wasn't sure of whether keeping it was safe.
I've been nipped several times, but I've yet to experience any reaction. Only once did I hook the rear fang, and that was from a juvenile that was repositioning a f/t pinkie for swallowing while feeding in the palm of my hand. No reaction other than my surprise from the unexpected pinprick.

They are safe and most seem to tame down in captivity. However, they can put up an impressive defensive display when cornered, looking like an anorexic crote, when they want to.

They can be a little wiry to handle, with an occasional huff or hiss of protest. But I've never had one turn and decide to start biting me while handling. Trimorphodon is definitely a hearty and underrated genus.

Bob McKeever
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by Bob McKeever »

Several years ago I was bitten by a Sonoran Lyre Snake after I picked it up for removal from the road & offer the notes I took that night: "This snake struck at, & bit, my right hand on the outside edge near the heel. Light tooth punctures felt but left no wounds visible in the car's interior light. Within 30-60 seconds I felt a light burning (or tingling) at the site. This lasted for about 5 minutes at an obvious level (but not even a 1 on the pain scale) & then for about an hour at a very light, barely discernable level. No other signs or symptoms."

I estimated the snake to have been 26 to 28 inches long & there was no "chewing" involved. It delivered a very quick strike, bite & release.

The fact that I'm hyper-sensitive to Crotalid venom may be related to the fact that I experienced the burning sensation with such a minimal exposure.

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gbin
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Re: "Mildy Toxic Saliva"??

Post by gbin »

A cousin carelessly handling a new and still-irritable captive Sonoran lyre of mine took a bite on the finger. The snake hung on for several seconds and left what appeared to be fang marks, but it's unknown whether any venom was injected and my cousin suffered no symptoms whatsoever.

In all of the dealings I've had with different lyres, I've never even come close to being bitten. They bluff a lot until they calm down, some quite impressively as Verhoodled mentioned, but they don't seem to try very hard to actually bite. I was quite surprised (and terribly embarrassed) that my cousin managed to get bitten.

Gerry

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