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Coral Snake Bite Paralyzes Choctaw County Man
By AON Staff
Posted Wednesday May 30 2018, 5:16 PM
Jeffrey Phillips was bit by a coral snake in Choctaw County and may need extensive physical therapy to learn how to walk, eat and write again.
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A Choctaw County man was paralyzed and left fighting for his life in a Mississippi hospital after being bitten by a coral snake in his front yard in Gilbertown.

Coral snakes have the most toxic venom of any North American snake, but bites are almost unheard of because of the snake’s rarity and its inability to strike like other poisonous snakes. The coral snake has no fangs, and snake experts say it almost has to be held and has to chew to inject venom.

Reports say Jeffrey Phillips was bitten after his children discovered the snake. Phillips’ oldest brother said his brother thought the snake was a common, non-poisonous scarlet king snake.

Phillips was rushed to Anderson Hospital in Meridian, Miss. where antivenin was flown in to save his life. Relatives said Phillips may need extensive physical therapy to learn how to walk, eat and write again.

Phillips’ fiancee, Angela Patrick, said Phillips was due to start a new job in a couple of weeks, and that job and their August wedding are now on hold.

The coral snake is a slender snake and lacks the triangular head of other poisonous snakes in Alabama. The body pattern consists of alternating, complete rings of red, yellow and black with red and yellow rings touching.

The coral snake is rare in Alabama. Biologists in Mobile County, where the snake is most known to occur, have not collected one in several years.
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