Spider bite causes flesh-eating damage to woman’s wrist

A Barrie woman is still recovering from a spider bite that caused flesh-eating damage to her wrist.

Greta Nickerson was helping a friend open their pool more than a month ago when she was bitten by the spider.

“My hand swelled up. I had a vein going up my arm that was black,” she said

Nickerson didn’t get the bite checked by a doctor until her fiancé convinced her to seek medical help. At this point, the bite nearly burned the skin on her wrist to the bone.

“They said the bad news is there’s no anti-venom for this spider you got bit by,” John Beauchamp, her fiancé said. “Nurses were running in to see it because they’ve never seen anything like that in their life.”

Expert Bob Bowles says the bite likely came from a dark-legged yellow sac spider. They live in dark areas around deserted building and in long grass.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says any insect bite that leads to an infection or terrible injury should be seen by an expert.

“You want to go seek medical attention at your doctor’s office or an emergency room if it’s a severe reaction,” says Lori Holmes, program manager with SMDHU.

Experts say extreme spider bite cases happen only three times a year in Canada.  

Nickerson is expected to recover.

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