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Unwelcome Visitors To Cabo

Date Published:

The federal Health Secretariat has issued a warning that the arachnid, also known as a Brown Recluse spider and part of the Loxosceles genus, is increasingly being found in Mexico and cases of bites have been reported. This spider is also known as the Baja Recluse or Violin spider. It’s the Baja moniker which is of most interest to residents here as the spider is now showing up in the Southern Baja, having previously been found mostly in the north.

Health authorities say the spider’s poisonous bite has killed about 200,000 people around the world so far this year, although the Pest Management Program at the University of California Berkeley says 90% of bites heal without medical attention.

Their necrotic bite, which means their venom contains a potent tissue-destroying agent, can cause chills, fever, nausea, muscle pain and flu-like symptoms along with blisters. These become open sores which take up to 45 days to heal. If they become infected it can create serious complications and severe scarring.

Oftentimes minor skin irritations are mistaken for spider bites. Even in homes where brown recluses have been found, seldom have the occupants experienced a bite. Many bites will cause just a little red mark that heals without event, and 90 percent of brown recluse bites heal without severe scarring.

As with most spiders, the Baja Recluse spider normally only bites when disturbed. It is usually found in dark and secluded places and is primarily nocturnal. People are normally bitten by accident when they put on clothes in the morning that they have left on the floor: a warning to teenagers everywhere!

There is no antidote for the poison.

Health officials say victims should apply ice to the bite and seek medical attention without delay. They warn against using one’s mouth to suck out the poison.

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