California Spider Control - Black widow bite sends man to hospital
His arm swelled up to the size of a football and went to ER twice.
By CAROL REITER
Black widow spider.
Those three words can strike fear in many hearts. And although most of the time a bite from the shiny little arachnid isn't an emergency, sometimes it is.
For one Atwater man, a bite from at least one spider meant a four-day stay in the hospital.
The man, who doesn't want his name used, was bitten on his hand and watched as it ballooned to the size of a football.
His wife took him to Mercy Medical Center's emergency room, where he received antibiotics and pain medication and then went home.
But he didn't get better. After another visit to the ER, the man ended up in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics. Mercy doctors told the man he may have been bitten by more than one spider, possibly a nest of them.
"The pain can be significant," said Dr. Charlie Kano, a primary care physician at the Family Care Clinic in Merced.
The black widow is one of only a few species of spiders dangerous to humans. In the mainland U.S., the black widow and the brown recluse are the most common ones.
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