Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Redback Spiders in UAE

Residents in Dubai have been reporting the presence of the redback spiders in their homes and gardens.
According to AME Info, residents are concerned that a lack of availability of antivenom for the poisonous redback spider is endangering lives.

The redback spider -scientifically known as “latrodectus hasselti“- is native to Australia and it is thought they arrived in the UAE about 10 years ago.
Up till now no injuries caused by this spider have been reported by any resident in Dubai, but people are advised to keep away from it and be careful because its byte could be a deadly one.
This is how a redback spider looks like:



The bite is highly venomous and characterized by intense localized pain and around the bite site. The normal sequence of events after a bite is as follows: a sharp pin-pricking pain, usually the bite site becomes hot, erythematic and edema develop rapidly. Localized sweating often occurs. The swelling is generally limited to an area of several cm in radius from the bite site. Around 5 minutes after the bite, intense local pain commences and increases in severity and distribution. Movement of the affected limb often significantly increases the pain. About 30 minutes after the bite, pain and swelling are often experienced in the regional lymph nodes. Other symptoms may include muscular weakness, loss of co-ordination and, in severe cases nausea, vomiting, convulsions, etc.
What to do if you or someone you know got bitten by a redback spider?
Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage (venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain). Collect the spider for positive identification. Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY!
Anyway, I didn’t blog about this topic to freak you out, it’s just to spread information because I assume that there are many like me who had no idea about the deadly poison of the redback spiders. So that in case you see one, you make sure to keep away from it, and keep your kids safe.

Via: Environment News (AR)
Source: Albayan (AR)