Snakes, like other reptiles do not possess any health risks such as diseases or viruses that can infect humans. The only disease that a human can get from a snake is either by infection from an improperly cleaned bite, or salmonella. Salmonella can be contracted by handling snakes and other reptiles, and can easily be prevented by washing your hands after handling them.
However, the major health hazard involving snakes is venom. Here in Virginia, there are 3 species of snakes that are venomous. The Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and the Timber Rattlesnake. In Southwestern Virginia only the copperhead, and the timber rattlesnake can be found, with the cottonmouth only appearing near the Chesapeake area.