The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Italy: Man bitten by black widow spider, saved by antidote

Sunday, 14 July 2019, 20:11 Last update: about 2 months ago

A man who was bitten by a black widow spider in the southern Italian city of Barletta was saved by an antidote sent just in time from an anti-poison centre in Pavia, Italian media report.

The 50-year-old man was doing some gardening work when he was bitten in the leg by the spider. He quickly developed a fever, suffered from convulsions and had abdominal and muscle pains.

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His condition was deteriorating, the reports add, until an antidote was transported via aeroplane from Pavia. His condition was stabilised within 40 minutes of taking it.

The director of the anti-poison centre of Pavia, in the north of Italy, said that it was a race against time. “When we were told about the symptoms we thought that the man must have been bitten by that kind of spider,” Carlo Locatelli said. “We sent the antidote over and the man’s condition immediately improved.”

He added that unless immediate action is taken, such a bite could lead to death. He said that areas in Italy which are experiencing hot weather and high humidity become breeding grounds for such spiders.

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