World

Venomous Spider Bites Man's Penis

| by Michael Allen
Redback spiderRedback spider

An unidentified 21-year-old man was bitten on the penis by a venomous redback spider April 26 while inside a portable toilet in Sydney, Australia.

The man used the toilet while at work on a building site. Paramedics came to the scene, but the man drove himself to the St. George Hospital where he was treated, notes The Daily Telegraph.

The redback spider has a red stripe and can cause severe pain, sweating and nausea with its bite. The arachnid is related to the black widow spider.

"Going back 80 years or so when people were still using outhouse toilets it was extremely common, something like up to 80 percent of cases of spider bites were bites on the male genitalia," Julian White, an associate professor at the Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said.

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"Typically they were using the toilet," White added. "But it’s much less common now, I can’t think of a case."

According to the Australian Museum website:

Redback bites occur frequently, particularly over the summer months. More than 250 cases receive antivenom each year, with several milder envenomations probably going unreported. Only the female bite is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and have caused deaths. However, since Redback Spiders rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web, and because of their small jaws many bites are ineffective.

White added: "A bite from a redback is certainly going to make the patient very miserable, but it’s very uncommon to die as we’ve had an anti-venom for more than 50 years. But you’d experience pain — pain as the venom stimulates the nerves around the bite — along with swelling and increased blood pressure But certainly, that would make you very miserable."

"It’s our fault that redbacks are on the [outhouse], in fact we’re the best thing that ever happened to them — where there’s humans, there will be insects for them to feed on," Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the Australian Academy of Science, stated.

"But of all the places to get bitten and of all the spiders, he had to pick this one," Fry added. "The redback has to be the most painful spider in Australia."

Sources: The Daily Telegraph via The Advertiser, Australian Museum / Photo credit: David McClenaghan/ScienceImage.csiro.au

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