If you are bitten by a snake and there are no fang marks, no venom has been injected and there will be no symptoms. If there is venom in the wound, symptoms may appear immediately or over the next few hours. Initial symptoms occur around the bite and may include:
- Swelling and discoloration.
- Pain and a burning sensation.
Later, symptoms of widespread poisoning may begin to appear, including:
- Pale skin and sweating.
- Eventual loss of consciousness.
- Blood pressure may fall, causing shock. Major organs may be affected, possibly resulting in respiratory failure and acute heart failure.
Most scorpion stings are extremely painful but otherwise harmless. However, a sting from a bark scorpion, which is found in parts of America, may cause further symptoms, including sweating, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, an irregular heartbeat, and muscle spasms.
The bite of a venomous spider, such as the black widow spider, usually causes generalized muscle pain, sweating, and headache and may lead to shock.
Stings by marine creatures may produce pain and swelling. Raised, red, itchy areas of skin may appear at the point of contact with a jellyfish or sea anemone. Rarely, stings from marine animals may result in symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and an irregular heartbeat.
In addition, any poisonous bite or sting may cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction in susceptible people