Illustrative: Black spider
Illustrative: Black spider Flash 90

An 11-month baby was bitten by a black widow spider and is in Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, for treatment.

The parents of the infant told the story of how she was bitten two days ago by a black spider. They were worried then that it was a black widow and when they saw her begin writhing in pain they rushed her to the hospital immediately where she was treated and is expected to be released in the coming days.

The parents described the moment the baby was bitten and said that from the moment she was bitten until the moment they decided to bring her to the hospital, only a few minutes went by.

The baby was sitting in the living room and eating with the family until they realized she had something black in her hand that she was about to put in her mouth.

The minute they tried to grab it, the spider, which “was the size of a small coin,” jumped from the baby’s hand onto the floor. The baby immediately showed signs of pain and looked like she was in shock.

Dr. Adi Klein who manages the pediatric ward at Hillel Hospital said, “they came to the hospital with the spider in a box, absolutely the right thing to do. We could immediately identify that she had been bitten by a black widow so we started supportive treatment which included providing fluids and keeping the patient’s blood pressure stable while treating the pain.”

The doctor said the baby suffered from symptoms immediately such as a swollen and inflamed hand, pain, body shaking, sweating and muscle tension. She also had a rash on her entire body and continuous pain from muscle spasms. The treatment was to remove the poison from her body by diluting it with fluids and medication which relaxed her muscles and minimized the pain.

There is an antitoxin for black widow spider poisoning, but since it can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction on its own, the doctors contacted to the National Toxicologic Center and were advised to try to avoid using it.

It is extremely rare for a black widow spider to sting anyone in Israel. Nevertheless, Dr. Klein advises parents to take any unusual insect's appearance seriously and rush children to hospital if they have been stung and exhibit any warning signs of poisoning, such as swelling at the site of the sting, shivering, and a general change in the child's appearance and behavior.

She said, “there is no doubt that the awareness of the parents, along with the fact that they brought the spider to the hospital and the speed in which the baby was treated, saved her life.”