Sacramento Woman Survives Bite From Rare Venomous Snake

(CBS13) — A Sacramento woman has become one of the only people on the planet known to have survived a bite from an extremely rare snake.

Ciara Wirth was working in Ecuador as a Fulbright Scholar when she was bitten by a Northwestern black-backed coral snake, native to the Amazon rainforest and so rare that only two people in recorded history are known to have survived its attack.

“It was pretty shocking. I obviously wasn’t expecting it to happen,” Wirth said in a Skype interview from Florida.

Wirth said she knew immediately the snake was dangerous because it wasn’t listed in her guidebook, and with a seven hour hike to the nearest road, she feared she wouldn’t be able to get treatment in time.

Using a satellite phone, Wirth coordinated with a tourist plane to pick her up and contacted the U.S. Embassy for help with a flight to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida.

“I feel very, very lucky,” she said.

Wirth said she hopes to head back into the Amazon to continue educating an ancient, diminishing tribe once she has fully recovered from her injuries. More information can be found on Wirth’s blog.

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