Black Widow Spider Bite Takes Down Firefighter


Black Widow Spider

In Grand Island, Nebraska, a firefighter who was on a call was bitten by the poisonous black widow spider according to KHAS-TV.

The spider bite proved nearly fatal as a clot developed in his leg even though his arm had apparently been bitten and started changing color with strong pain .

The Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet on Black Widow Spiders details the symptoms of a black widow spider bite which can sometimes go unnoticed:

The venom travels in the bloodstream throughout the body and acts on the nervous system, causing varying degrees of pain. Some people report very intense pain. There typically is no necrosis (sloughing) of tissues and no conspicuous swelling.

Even if it may not have been apparent at first, the bite could have killed him.

Captain John Mayer of the Grand Island Fire Department said, “The swelling, the bruising, the internal bleeding and the tissue looks real bad, even more serious than that was that he developed some stroke like symptoms for a short time.”

To prevent future bites by black widow spiders, Grand Island has evidently already paid for fumigation of the house. In addition, a relief fund has been set-up by colleagues for the stricken firefighter to help pay for his medical bills.

Donations can be sent to:

GI Firefighters Local 647
c/o Wohlers Relief Fund
1419 Independence Ave
Grand Island, NE 68803

If you’re looking to prevent future spider bites, you can follow these tips from OSU:

  • Wear long sleeved shirts.
  • Use gloves when moving around boxes, firewood, lumber and rocks where black widow spiders like to hang out.
  • Make sure to shake out your own clothing and shoes before putting them on. You never know when a spider may be lurking.
August 20, 2008 – 6:50 pm

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