An average of five people are each year killed due to venomous snake bites in the USA (Gold et al., 2002)1. Approximately 8,000 venomous snake bites are reported each year, in the US, and the total number of bites is estimated to 45,000 (ibid) although other claims this number to be lower (Litovitz et al., 1997)2.
According to official statistics, only 18 percent of snake bites in the USA are from venomous species.
Medical symptoms from venomous bites vary a lot. Besides wound discharge some of the symptoms associated with envenomations are the same as in severe cases of flu.
According to an article by Sutherland (1992)3, where fatalities from snake bites over a 10 year period in Australia were studied, only 18 snake bites had a deadly outcome (see later) in that 10 year period. The author states that it is likely that not all lethal cases have been reported.
Only four species poses a hazard to humans in the US, and the venomous species found in USA are not among the most venomous snake species of the world.
In South and Central America, bites from venomous species are a worse problem than in the US. In Costa Rica the annual number of hospital admissions because of snake bites is 22.4 per 100,000 inhabitants (Rojas et al., 1997)4.
When compared to how many are killed by lightning each year, which in a period from 1959 to 1994 was 0.42 people per million USA citizens (Curran et al., 1994)5, injuries caused by snakes seems to be a minor problem.
This fact doesn't cause snakes and especially venomous bites to be less interesting. This webpage is dedicated to venomous snakes, their habitat, ecology, life-cycle, how to avoid bites, specie descriptions and much more.
The site also contains some videos and pictures such as the video below.