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Mother and daughter both hospitalised with false widow spider bites
9:00am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A MOTHER and daughter were both hospitalised after being bitten by the UK’s most venomous spider.
Beverley and Emily Moore are recovering but still poorly almost a fortnight after being nipped by a false widow spider.
And Emily, 31, who was visiting her mother at Musgrove, was also kept in after a doctor told her a swelling on her neck had been caused by the arachnid.
Beverley said: “My finger was itching for a couple of days and became swollen.
“My GP put me on antibiotics and said it was an infection and perhaps a little bit of dirt had got in.
“I got quite poorly. I went back three days later because my hand was far worse and the doctor sent me to A&E, who admitted me straightaway.
“They put me on a drip with intravenous antibiotics.
“I was there three days and am still on strong oral antibiotics. I’m still poorly, tender and sore and feel sick.”
When Emily visited hospital last week, she told her mother’s consultant that she had a small mark on her neck that was swollen and sore.
He sent her to A&E who told her she also needed to be treated in Musgrove as she too had been bitten by a spider.
Both women are now home and slowly returning to full health.
Beverley said: “We weren’t aware we’d been bitten and we didn’t see any spiders.
“It’s been very unpleasant and I want people to be aware of these spiders and to look out for the symptoms, particularly in children.”
Craig Groves, of Groves Xtreme Clean, has since fumigated the house after finding a widow spider inside and about six in a summer house in the garden.
“They give you a nasty bite, but it’s not fatal,” said Mr Groves.
“They only bite if provoked, such as someone accidentally sitting on them.
“There are more and more sightings in this country and I’ve been called to fumigate a number of homes.”
A Musgrove spokeswoman said spider bites were recorded as insect bites, so it had no records of how many people had been bitten by spiders.
*The false widow spider is so called as it resembles the black widow, whose bite can be fatal.
*It is the size of a 20p coin and has a bulbous midriff, glossy tawny back and cream coloured belt on its front.
*It is believed to have come to this country, possibly in a consignment of bananas from Madeira or the Canary Islands, in the 19th Century.
*It only lives in the southern half of Britain, with numbers increasing in recent years due to milder winters.
*Its bite can cause chest pains, tingly fingers and swelling. If you get an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical help.
*There are no recorded deaths from spider bites in the UK.
*UK firefighters have been warned to look out for false widow spiders in hydrants.
*A school in Gloucestershire was closed on Tuesday when several widow spiders were discovered there.
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