Girl bitten by rattlesnake while swimming recovering after spending time in hospital - East Idaho News

Girl bitten by rattlesnake while swimming recovering after spending time in hospital

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BONNEVILLE COUNTY — A 9-year-old girl from Idaho Falls is recovering at home after she was bitten by a rattlesnake while swimming.

July 9 started out as a typical day for Tasia Noyes and her 18-year-old brother Joseph. They were boating, like they have done many times before, in the Blacktail, Ririe Reservoir area of Bonneville County.

“We were wakeboarding with my dad. His girlfriend had just finished wakeboarding and Tasia jumped in to swim around for a minute,” Joseph told

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Tasia having fun on July 9 at the reservoir. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes
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Joseph Noyes wakeboarding on July 9. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes

They had been on the lake all day and were getting ready to go home as Tasia swam around. Then something scary and surprising happened.

The bite

“When I was ready to get out, I just tried to climb back up on the ladder, and I felt a sting in my knee, so I swam away. I looked where the ladder was, and then I saw a snake and I like… yelped!” Tasia recalls.

Joseph heard his little sister yelling and remembers her saying she thought there was a snake that had bitten her.

“I looked down in the water. I don’t see anything but once she gets out of the water all the way, I see a smaller snake swimming away. I flicked it away with a stick, and then the snake was gone,” Joseph said.

Tasia was back on the boat and bleeding. Sure enough, there was a bite on her right knee. Her dad took her to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center to get checked out.

“It hurt a ton! The first hour I could walk. I was just limping a little bit. After that first hour, it was really painful to walk. I couldn’t even like … put any pressure on it. My mom had to carry me around,” Tasia said.

Admitted to the hospital

Danielle Noyes, Tasia and Joseph’s mom, met them at the hospital. She said Tasia arrived at EIRMC within 35 minutes and was given a dose of antivenom, also referred to as antivenin – an antibody therapy that can disable toxins within a specific venom if injected quickly into a patient after a bite.

the bite
The initial bite on Tasia’s knee. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes

“We didn’t know exactly what kind of snake bite it was but they looked at it and could see that it was already discoloring. … Tasia had symptoms like throwing up,” Danielle said. “They also ran her blood work. They could tell it was in the rattlesnake family.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms from venomous snake bites include redness, swelling, bruising, bleeding, severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and rapid heart rate.

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Tasia’s right leg was swelling up after the snake bite. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes

Danielle said Tasia’s leg was swelling significantly. Hospital workers measured her leg every couple of hours. After checking how she was doing on the first dose of antivenom, they decided she needed a second dose because she wasn’t doing well.

She began to improve after the second dose.

“All of my doctors and nurses, they were all really nice,” Tasia said.

Tasia at the hospital
Tasia at the hospital. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes


She was in the hospital on Sunday, July 9 and Monday, July 10, then released. She is recovering at home and is doing well.

“It is healing. It will take her body some time to help rebuild all the damage that happened from the venom that did affect her leg,” Danielle said.

Tasia said she is able to use her leg and says she can even jump on the trampoline.

She told she is not afraid of snakes and would go back and swim but will be careful.

“I am still going to be a little cautious about them but I am not really scared of them. I would just look around first and make sure there is nothing there,” she said.

Danielle is glad that Tasia is okay and for the medication given to her.

“We were so grateful that we were able to access medication so quickly. The staff at EIRMC was fantastic and so kind. We expect she will make a full recovery,” she said.

Danielle and Tasia at EIRMC
Danielle and Tasia at EIRMC. | Courtesy Danielle Noyes

Danielle wants people to be safe and aware of the possibility of being bitten by a rattlesnake.

“When you think of a rattlesnake, you think of it coiled on a trail. You don’t think about it swimming under the water,” she said. “If it happens to you, just be aware that there are venomous snakes here in Idaho…and if you get bit, seek treatment as quickly as possible.”

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Courtesy Danielle Noyes

An increase of rattlesnake bites?

Posts on social media over the past week suggest an increased number of rattlesnake bites under the water in the Blacktail area. Several users forwarded a post circulating on Facebook in regards to people being treated at Mountain View Hospital. It referenced a boy that would lose his leg because of a bite.

Hospital spokesman Brian Ziel said there is nothing to support the claim and no rattlesnake bite patients have been treated at Mountain View Hospital and Idaho Falls Community Hospital.

EIRMC spokeswoman Coleen Niemann said they haven’t had any patients matching the description on the Facebook post but told the hospital generally treats several rattlesnake bites each year. Typically, those patients are admitted for evaluation and treatment.

The Bonneville County Parks Manager said the social media post was a rumor and not confirmed.

Rattlesnakes are common in the Blacktail area and other parts of eastern Idaho, Idaho Fish and Game spokesman James Brower said. The snakes can swim, he said, but it’s not common.

“They do this typically just to travel from one side to the other,” Brower said in an email to

Rattlesnakes generally are not aggressive, according to the US Forest Service. They strike when threatened or deliberately provoked. Most snake bites happen when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone.

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Adobe stock image of a rattlesnake

What to do if you get bitten

If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, EIRMC Emergency Room Physician Scott Cross said do the following:

  • Stay calm!
  • Elevate the injury to reduce swelling and preserve tissue but keep at or below the heart to prevent venom from spreading
  • Avoid exertion to the injured site (ie- if bitten on the wrist, avoid over usage of the arm)
  • Most important: seek medical attention as quickly as possible

“Do not try any interventions like tourniquets or cutting and sucking to get venom out. Additionally, if you can take a picture of the snake, it will help ensure that you get the correct antivenom,” Director of EMS Services at EIRMC Eric Day explained.

Safety tips

While outside, the US Forest Service said following these tips can help prevent rattlesnake encounters:

  • When hiking, stick to well-used trails if possible.
  • Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
  • If a fallen tree or large rock is in your path, step up on to it instead of over it, as there might be a snake on the other side.
  • Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
  • If you hear the warning rattle, move away from the area and do not make sudden or threatening movements in the direction of the snake.
  • Remember, rattlesnakes do not always rattle before they strike.