Expats in Spain warned over deadly spider bites

Published:  12 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain
A French expat living in Estepona is warning other expatriates about the possibility of deadly spider bites in the region.

Aurelia Nesslany was hospitalised for more than a month after she was bitten by what appears to have been a venomous spider whilst she was playing cards with friends at Estepona’s Nautical Club. The arachnid bit her behind the knee, causing immediate, intense pain which continued after she’d gone home, gone to bed and tried to sleep. By then, her arms and legs were cramping and she was rushed to the nearest hospital the following morning.

According to doctors, the venum had entered her bloodstream and infected her entire body, leaving her terrified and in agony. Worse was to come as necrosis set in, causing the skin and tissue surrounding the bite began to rot and slough off. An operation cleared the infected tissue, but Aurelia continued to feel nauseous and was vomiting for a week. For the next month, she had to report to doctors every two days for tests in case the poison was causing more necrosis but, even when she was given the all clear she was told the poison would stay in her system for at least six months.

Although the type of spider hasn’t been formally identified, doctors believe Aurelia’s symptoms match only two species – the Mediterranean Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. She’s now warning expats and tourists to take care both in their homes or hotel accommodation and when they’re eating out or in a bar. The Black Widow spider is known to have a venomous bite and is found in various Spanish regions including Almeria and Andalusia, and the Brown Recluse is common in Spain and known to be active all year.
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