Fatal snakebites rare in Missouri, but precautions advised

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri conservation officials say that although fatal snakebites are rare in the state, people still need to take precautions when they are out in the wild.

A southwest Missouri man died last week after being bitten in both legs by a venomous snake and going home, instead of heeding his girlfriend’s plea to go to the hospital.

Christian County Coroner Brad Cole says it will take eight weeks before lab tests come back with a cause of death, but he says no signs indicate it was anything other than snakebites.

The Missouri Conservation Department website says only two other deaths have been officially attributed to snakebites. But the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says five deaths since 2010 had snakebites as an underlying cause.