The residents of northeastern town Sadiya – Upper Assam in India were attacked by large hairy spiders while they were enjoying a Hindu festival on May 8th. Two people have died from the consequences of these bites. The spiders came from nowhere and started attacking people and the festive atmosphere soon turned into panic.
A resident named Jintu spent a day at the Sadiya Civil Hospital after he became nauseous and felt excruciating pain in his finger. The consequences of the bite were visible two weeks after but he was thankful for surviving this horror. Another resident, Purnakanata Buragohain and an unnamed young boy did not survive this attack. Purnakata died after having an allergic reaction to the bite and the young boy also had an allergic reaction that resulted fatally.
People were constantly arriving to the Sadiya Civil Hospital with the same symptoms: excruciating pains caused by a spider bite; and some even carried the spiders to the hospital with them.
There was an alert in Tinsukia district, asking people to stay inside their homes during the night, which is the proper time for the spiders to wander about. The two bodies were cremated without being submitted to autopsy, which made it more difficult to find a solution to the threat. No one knew which spider it was and why it attacked all of a sudden.
On May 22nd a team of scientists led by Dr L. R. Saikia from Dibrugarh and Gauhati University came to Sadiya. The team camped in the invaded area for two days and gathered information and specimens. They stated that they cannot specify the specie but that the spider resembles the tarantula. They concluded that the spider is a highly aggressive one. The toxicity of their venom is yet to be tested. Dr Anil Phatowali, from the Sadiya Civil Hospital, claims that they cannot claim that the fatal outcomes of the spider bites in the two cases were caused by the spider’s venom, since that may have happened because of a severe allergic reaction. The patients also first visited witch doctors who cut their wounds with razors and burnt it after having drained the blood out, and this may have also been the cause of such results. Dr Phatowali also adds that the hospital is not equipped well enough to handle such crisis.
The one thing we can be sure of is that the spider is new in the area. This area does not have any venomous spiders nor it had any before. The panic that started to spread can be taken as proof to this claim since people are frightened because they have not seen anything like this before. They have encountered only common spiders but this spider is a highly aggressive one that attacks at any kind of action to scare it off. Those who tried to scare it off were attacked and as they claim, the spider leapt at them and buried its fangs.
Nevertheless, this spider is causing fear to the residents of Assam and they are trying to kill as many of them as possible.
These spiders were noticed approximately a month ago in Sadiya, Tinsukia district. After the death of two people, the panic started to spread enormously fast. Some claim that the panic is not justified since there are no venomous spiders in Assam that represent a threat to human beings.
Soumyadeep Dutta the head of a non-profit organization – Nature’s Beckon stated that there must have been a great disturbance in the spiders’ natural habitat that made them come out in swarms.
THIS IS HOW SPIDER BITE LOOKS LIKE
THIS IS HOW LOOKS LIKE SOME OF THE MOST POISONOUS SPIDERS
-> Read about Brown Recluse Spider
-> Read about The Black Widow
Generally, spiders are greatly feared animals and most people see them as terrifying and highly dangerous although these little animals rarely represent a major threat to humans. Even so, there are some spiders that can cause serious damage to humans if they feel threatened. All spiders are venomous, but some are considered to be more dangerous than others because of their aggressive venom or the quantity of venom they tend to inject into their victim. Such venomous spiders can inflict harmful bites and leave serious consequences to the bitten person. Presently, there are two dangerous spider species in Florida.
These are the widow spiders and the brown recluse spiders. Each species prefers dark, secluded areas such as attics, sheds and old closets as their habitats and they tend to hide under rocks and wooden boards. The symptoms of widow spider bites are similar. They all include muscle rigidity of the abdomen and legs, nausea, swelling and burning sensation in the area of the bite. The widow spiders are nocturnal and tend to hide in dark places, and they are frequently secluded in their web during the day. Only female widow spiders are dangerous and they vary in size as they can grow from 8 to 15 mm.
Three types of recluse spiders have been found in Florida:
- THE BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
- THE MEDITERRANEAN RECLUSE SPIDER
- THE CHILEAN RECLUSE SPIDER
Recluse spiders bite if they feel threatened and since they prefer hiding in dark places it is not unusual to find them tangled in clothes, making it easy for them to feel disturbed and threatened. A recluse spider bite varies in intensity, since the bitten person may not even feel it or it may leave serious damage such as severe necrosis.
Serious symptoms usually include severe pain and the appearance of blisters which can leave deep scars on the skin. Any encounter with these spiders should be taken calmly and, in case of a bite, it is of great importance to seek prompt medical attention. In any case, it is very useful to know which spider bit you, so you can react as soon as possible if it was a venomous spider.
Dangerous species of spiders in Florida are:
> The Brown Widow
> The Southern Black Widow
> The Northern Black Widow
> The Red Widow
The head and legs of the red widow are red and its abdomen is black with rows of red or orange dots. This spider can only be found in central and southern Florida. Its existence outside of Florida is unknown. They are also nocturnal, which means that they are only active during the night and they typically act like any other widow spider. Another dangerous spider species in Florida is the recluse spider, and this spider can also be found worldwide. Recluse spiders are usually sized from 6 to 12 mm. The color of their abdomens can vary from tan to dark brown. It is a specific kind of spider since it has only six eyes, as opposed to the normal eight eyes in other spiders.
The Northern widow can also be recognized by an hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen, but this marking looks incomplete in these spiders since the top half and the bottom half are separated. It typically has a row of red dots running down its abdomen. These spiders are also not aggressive and they only bite if they feel threatened and if they are disturbed.
The black southern widow spiders (also known as the black widow) are black in color and have a bright red hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen. They are not aggressive but they will bite if they feel threatened. The black widow’s bite feels like a pinprick and sometimes the bite can be recognized by a reddish area around the bite.
The brown widow is an introduced species while the other three are native to Florida. Its color is usually medium brown although some of them may be dark brown or light brown. It is highly timid and it rarely bites. Nevertheless, the brown widow reproduces quite rapidly and this can create quite a problem since they can spread around one’s home in a very short period. Unlike the black widow, it is less inclined to inject large amounts of venom into its victim, although its venom is twice as potent. This is why anyone with a poor immune system should be careful when it comes to the brown widow spider.
The Black Widow is poisonous enough to be the cause of death of a small dog or a puppy. The treatment is symptomatic, with the use of analgesics. The problem with black widow bites in animals is that there is no way to diagnose if it really was a black widow bite, so it can only be assumed based on the symptoms the owner notices and describes to the veterinarian.
The strong toxicity the black widow is well known to everyone and therefore the owners should be especially careful when they go to holiday areas which are known for being the natural habitats of poisonous spiders.
If you suspect that your pet was bitten by a black widow, the only thing you can do is to try to soothe the bitten animal and force it to stay calm as much as you can if you are not able to get immediate veterinary help.
Only the female black widow is toxic. This spiders venom is in its salivary glands which are emptied during the bite. Sometimes a spider can bite its victim, and not empty the glands, so it can be possible that the animal did not get spider bite poisoning. Most bites occur during the summer months and in the fields during agricultural work.
Wheat fields are an important habitat of this spider, and during harvest their nests are destroyed. Also, this spider can be found in sheds, wood sheds, abandoned barns. The Black widow spider is not aggressive, but it will bite if it feels threatened somehow.
> The bite spot in dogs
The bite spot in dogs is usually their muzzle, especially among the curious ones that explore with their nose, and then accidentally come upon a black widows nest. The Black widow venom contains a number of toxic substances, and one of its components is neurotoxin. The bite itself is not painful, so the owners of dogs and cats hardly ever notice that their pet had been in contact with a poisonous spider. Unlike the turbulent reaction to a painful bee sting or a snake bite, an animal bitten by the Black widow shows no reactions at all.
In case of a Black widow bite the signs of intoxication will appear within an hour. People describe symptoms such as severe pain in the regional lymph nodes, and the bite site looks reddish and swollen.
After several hours the bite spot takes the form of a typical bluish coin circle, which can be easily missed in animals because of their fur. It is also hard to recognize when the animal is in pain, but the main symptom is definitely a distinct discomfort and sometimes painful whimper.
The brazilian wandering spider, also known as the ”banana spider” is enlisted in the Guiness world records book as the most venomous spider responsible for the majority of spider bite deaths in humans. Only 0,006mg of its neurotoxic poison is enough to kill a mouse.
This spideris a wanderer and therefore, it can be found in many places, such as clothes, cars and houses. The reason for this is that they look for dark places during daylight and when they are somehow disturbed, they attack. Its name “banana spider” originated from its nature to hide in banana bunches.
This is the way it actually got spread around the world, within the banana crates sent to grocery stores around the globe.
Even though these spiders are called one of the deadliest, in some occasions it may not be so. Many scientists believe that these spiders do not inject venom every time they bite.
However they are a threat to be aware of because it is a fact that they are deadly and there are many cases in which these spiders caused death in humans.
> Brazilian Wandering Spider treats impotence