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Spider bite puts Layla in hospital
6:20am Friday 25th October 2013 in News
A MUM has warned parents about the dangers of false widow spiders after her daughter spent a week in hospital and was left scarred for life.
Wendy Benton's alert comes in the wake of reports across the country about people suffering ill health as a result of Britain’s most venomous spider.
Her daughter Layla, 14, was bitten on her knee by a spider and reacted so severely, she spent a week in Basildon Hospital.
Medics even had to contact a tropical diseases centre for help.
Wendy, of Partridge Green, Pitsea, said: “She came down from the bathroom and told me she had been bitten by something and her knee was stinging and itchy.
“Within a few hours, it really started to react. She had antibiotics from our GP, but it didn’t do any good and she had to be admitted to hospital.
“It got really bad. She developed cellulitis and blood poisoning.
My other daughter found the spider in the bathroom and we took it to the hospital to show them, but they just laughed at us and said it had been in the country for years and it was the way Layla had reacted to the bite.”
As Layla’s condition worsened, the doctors began to take it seriously.
Wendy said: “They contacted a tropical diseases hospital in London and they had some special cream sent down, but that made it worse and had to be washed off.
“It was awful by then with vivid orange stuff leaking from the wound. At that point, they said she might need to have surgery to completely wash it out.”
Layla was bitten by the spider in February, but has only now recovered from the ordeal.
She has a permanent dent in her knee from where the poison damaged the flesh. She spent three weeks off from Beauchamps School as a result of the bite.
No one has reportedly died from a false widowbite, but some people have extreme reactions to the poison and can lose limbs as a result.
Wendy said: “I was laid back about the bite at first.
I am a first aider and didn’t think much of it, but it shows how careful people need to be with these spiders.”
A spokesman for Basildon Hospital said: “It is very rare we see a patient in A&E after a spider bite. If somebody needs to come to A&E after a spider bite, we treat the symptoms and, if necessary, we would take advice from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.”
A TEENAGER from Southend claims he found a venomous false widow spider outside his house.
Dominic Wilson, 19, of Ladram Road, was surprised to find the fearsomelooking arachnid by his front door.
He said: “I really don’t like spiders at all so I was trying to stay as far away as possible.”
Dominic looked up the spider online and compared it to other photos, before deciding it was a false widow.
He said: “There was something about this particular spider which took you by surprise a little. It looked quite intimidating, even though it wasn’t that big.”
Adrian Knowles, senior ecologist at the Essex Wildlife Trust, said: “It does look like the false widow spider, Steatoda Nobilis.
“The spider can bite and a very few people may have an extreme allergic reaction to the bite in just the same way that people are sensitive to peanuts.”
The wildlife trust is forwarding the pictures to the Essex Field Club for verification.
It advises people who suffer from extreme allergic reactions not to touch the spiders.
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