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article imageStudent suffers severe effects of brown recluse spider bite

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 15, 2012 in Health
Media reports have emerged that describe a terrifying experience a 21-year-old student suffered after being on the receiving end of a brown recluse spider bite on her neck.
This harrowing experience began in Sept. 2011 when Nikki Perez, a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, was in the Amarillo Airport in Texas with her mother and boyfriend.
Perez was waiting for a flight when she suffered the spider bite. Her mother, a nurse by profession, was with her at the time and immediately identified the spider as a brown recluse.
The Daily Mail carried photos and a description of Perez's frightening experience.
"I felt a nasty pinch when I touched my neck," she said. "Next, I felt something crawling over my face and over my eye. I yelled for [my boyfriend] to help me, and when he saw the spider crawling over my face, he swatted it to the floor, and stamped on it."
Over the next several days the reaction to the bite was severe, and included a large amount of swelling in her face.
Perez spent several days in the hospital to receive IV treatments of steroids to reduce the swelling. After her release from the hospital, her condition worsened. Necrosis began with the rotting based in her ear; Perez needed surgery and a skin graft.
"I was going blind ... it was terrifying," Perez told The Daily Mail. "It was spreading all over my head, which actually felt like a bit of a relief as the pain was so concentrated behind my ear."
Web Pro News discussed Perez's experience and noted brown recluse spiders are one of the most dangerous of arachnid.
A bite from a brown recluse spider can cause incapacitating symptoms or can be life-threatening. In this respect, Perez is said to be lucky the necrosis did not spread.
A report published by ABC News, however, shares a different perspective.
Rick Vetter, a well-known expert on the brown recluse spider and a research associate in the department of entomology at the University of California-Riverside, said media reports often use "scare tactics," and indicated "90 percent of the time a bite causes nothing more than a red mark on the skin." Vetter goes on to say that Perez's case looked severe, but says this is not the norm that occurs with this type of spider bite.
Others interviewed by ABC, who have been bitten, shared their experiences and expressed the seriousness of these kinds of spider bites.
Reportedly there has been an increase in brown recluse spider bites; this is attributed to climate changes and the spiders taking up residence in a larger geographical area, said a spring 2011 study.
More about Brown recluse spider, Spider bite, necrosis, Blindness
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