Agri Kultuur December / Desember 2018 - Page 57

This is not a spider bite. A spider will deliver a defensive bite usually only once. Therefore, multiple bites occurring over an extended period, are more likely to be caused by biting insects such as fleas, bed bugs and mosquitoes. The following indicates that the source of the lesion is more likely to be from a biting insect than a spider: Multiple bite-like lesions on a single person, especially if the lesions are spread over different parts of the body. Multiple instances of lesions over a period. More than one person in a household displays the same lesions. Spider bites are often reported from places where people live near each other, for example, prisons, hospitals, hostels, nursing homes and boarding schools. Further investigations at these facilities often result in no spiders being found. In almost every case, the cause will be a bacterial infection (see MRSA) and not spiders. The following symptoms are typical of a MRSA infection: • Bumps, pimple-like lumps or blisters on the skin (often blamed on baby Violin Spiders) • Swelling and redness of surrounding tissue. AgriKultuur |AgriCulture • Deep lesion and tissue damage. • Location of symptoms is often where clothing rubs on the body, or in sweaty areas such as armpits, buttocks, neck, face, groin and feet. • Recurring infections or symptoms. • No improvement of symptoms after 2 days of antibiotics. Bacterial infections can be reduced by greater attention to personal hygiene, such as more frequent washing of hands, showering, more changes of bed linen and clothing. The images that accompany the Violin Spider Hoax Email are a good example of a lesion caused as a result of a bacterial infection. Tick bites are often misdiagnosed as spider bites. Multiple “spider bites” around the ankles and lower legs, especially after walking through long grass, can often be attributed to ticks. Asking for spider bite advice on Facebook and Internet groups is like asking an art student for financial advice. Acknowledgement: Jonathan Leeming, 57