A brown snake reacts to being captured near Malanda on the Atherton Tablelands.
A brown snake reacts to being captured near Malanda on the Atherton Tablelands.

First the heat, now the snakes

QUEENSLANDERS are being urged to stay cool and avoid snakes as the heatwave continues to grip the state.

More than 100 people across the state have been treated for heat-related illness since the temperatures began to soar on November 22 and acting chief health officer Sonya Bennett said there had also been reports of snake bites in the state's north thanks to the heat and fires.

"The conditions really are unprecedented and over the next couple of days we can expect to see temperatures climb even further so we just wanted to stress to people to take precautions in the heat," Dr Bennett said.

"Yes we see heat every year and I think in Queensland we all think we can understand heat and can manage heat but the range of temperatures that we are seeing and the duration are beyond what we have seen before.

There have been reports of more snake bites because of the extreme heat.
There have been reports of more snake bites because of the extreme heat.

"Along with heat come other issues which can impact on people's health and one of those is snakes.

"There are reports of increased presentations of people with snake bite, particularly up north."

Dr Bennett said she also urged the public not to touch bats with incidents of bats falling out of trees due to the heat.

She said Queensland Health had activated its heatwave response plan for the first time such were the conditions.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Matt Macgregor said QAS had responded to 117 cases of heat related illness across the State since November 22.

"Comparatively speaking that is quite high," he said.

" … I think this time its just the prolonged extent of the heat and the humidity as well which is really knocking the community a while."


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