Texas teen treated in Arizona with new antivenom after snakebite

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PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- With the heat comes rattlesnakes, and already, the rattlesnake season is off to a very busy start.

At Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix alone, four people are currently being treated for bites, and the hospital has seen 18 bites since February. One of the patients at Banner University Medical Center had to be flown in from out of state to get treatment because the hospital carries a different type of antivenom.

17-year-old Anthony Rodriguez was playing soccer with friends when he was bitten. It happened when the ball got away and went into the tall grass.

"So I went in there and got the ball, and on the way back and I stepped on something and I heard the snake right under me. like a hiss," said Rodriguez. "And then, it just bit me and I wasn't even sure it was a snake."

Rodriguez's situation is a bit different. He's from Texas. He went to the hospital there after it happened, and unfortunately, he had an allergic reaction to the traditional antivenom, Crofab.

"My eyes swelled up and I started getting puffy and they had to stop it," said Rodriguez, who had to be flown out to Banner, because the hospital carries the newest type of antivenom.

"The older antivenom was made in sheep, and the newer one is made in horses," said Dr. Steven Curry, Director of the Department of Medical Toxicology.

Dr. Curry says this new antivenom, Anavip, is a great alternative for those allergic to the other type. He says it's also less expensive and has other benefits.

"We have seen evidence suggesting that patients who receive it are less likely to have a recurrence of swelling or a recurrence of bleeding problems after being discharged from the hospital," said Dr. Curry.

This is the first year Banner has been using Anavip. Rodriguez is expected to be okay, and he is flying back to Texas on Monday.