Black Widow Spider Bite (cont.)
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What is the follow up for a black widow spider bite?
Follow-up is always necessary in cases where antivenin is used. Although serum sickness is uncommon with single-vial doses of horse serum, it may occur 7-12 days after exposure and is characterized by skin lesions, fever, pain in the joints, and swollen lymph glands. The symptoms may occur sooner in a sensitized person. The process is self-limited, goes away in 2-3 weeks, and may be treated with antihistamines and steroids.
How do I prevent spider bites from black widows?
Because black widow spiders bite if they are disturbed, care should be taken in reaching into dark areas. In areas where spider infestations are a problem, the use of a pest control service may also be useful.
What are the complications from black widow spider bites?
Complications in healthy adults are uncommon. If the black widow spider bite is not treated with antivenin, symptoms may last for several days but are seldom life threatening.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/14/2016
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