Spider Bite Paralyzes Young Woman's Arm

She ends up with huge hole near shoulder
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 1, 2014 3:59 PM CDT
A spider sits on its net that is covered with dewdrops reflecting the sun near Doeringsdorf, central Germany, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/dpa, Michael Reichel)

(Newser) – A British woman was in the hospital for days after she was bitten by a spider while in bed. Lauren Reid's arm was temporarily paralyzed by the bite. "I was in my bedroom asleep when I felt something crawl across my left arm," she tells the Birmingham Mail. "I pushed it off and noticed something sticking out my arm. It looked like a thick black hair." She went back to sleep, but the next morning, "I was in an unbelievable amount of pain," and "my arm was … stuck in an upwards position." There was a huge hole near her shoulder.

She headed to the hospital, where doctors "looked stumped. I don’t think they had seen anything like it, which was really scary." She was there for four days as she was treated with intravenous antibioitics—and she still doesn't know what kind of spider bit her. Tests should reveal the culprit soon, but the bite itself may not be the full story. "It sounds like an infection," an insect expert tells the Telegraph. "It could be that a spider’s bitten her and that that spider had a bacteria on its mouth." Another bug expert says the wound actually sounds more like a bee sting. (A scientist recently spotted a "puppy-sized" spider in Guyana; its bite, he says, feels "like driving a nail through your hand.")

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