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5-Year-Old Girl Recovers From Black Widow Bite

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 06:23 AM EDT

Female black widow spiders usually have a very painful bite, with their venom said to be 15 times more potent than that of a rattlesnake. Getting bitten by a black widow usually results in severe muscle pains and spasms, and even abdominal cramps that could last for up to a week.

In Massachussetts, black widows are rare, which is why Kristine Donovan did not expect such creature to bite her 5-year-old daughter, Kailyn. When Donovan first saw the bluish mark on her daughter's leg, she thought it was a bruise. A few days later, the mark turned black, which alarmed her significantly. The concerned mother then rushed her daughter to a nearby hospital, where she was told that her daughter had been affected by a black widow spider bite.

Donovan told CBS Boston that her daughter never even felt the spider bite her. The little girl, however, has been treated with antibiotics and dressing changes. Donovan suspected though that her daughter may have gotten the bite in her jeans, in the same location where Kailyn was bitten.

Kailyn's doctor, William Durbin, told The Boston Globe that the dark purple and black colors that have marked the little girl were a byproduct of necrosis -- meaning that her cells in the area have died. Dr. Durbin, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center, shared that Kailyn had a very distinctive bite, which alarmed her parents and doctors alike.

Over 2,000 people in the U.S. get bitten by black widow spiders every year, although death is rare. Still, fatalities from black widow bites usually occur among young children, the elderly or the extremely ill. However, Kailyn's bite was treated in time, and it seems that it is healing.

Donovan also said that as an act of precaution, she will be spraying their house, although doctors presumed the bite to have occurred outside their home. Still, they did not expect black widows in Massachusetts, and this served as a precaution not only for the existence of the spider that bit her daughter but for other venomous animals possibly within arm's length of any child.

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