"Don't make the same mistake I did! One spider bite can turn into a life threatening staph infection!"
I had just moved from California to Colorado. My daughter and I were busy unpacking, but took our time to enjoy the first real colorful days of fall.
Just before we left for a barbeque at a friend's house, I felt what appeared to be a sting or bite on my back. I washed it off and applied calamine lotion. Later that evening my back really started to itch and became painful. So, I applied cortisone cream to the bite and took some Benadryl then drove home.
The next morning I woke up with flu like symptoms, and immediately noticed the pain and itching had worsened. I looked in the mirror and noticed it was substantially larger and there was now a red ring around the bite with a pus pocket under the skin. I called my sister since she is in the medical field, and drove over for her to take a look at it. When I arrived, she looked at it, her jaw dropped and she said: "You need to go to the emergency room now!" The bite and area around it had grown to 2 inches diameter and now had red streaks about 6 inches long.
Less than 24 hours from the initial bite I was laying in Porter Adventist Hospital, where the surgeon on call quickly arrived. Immediately I was put on an IV to administer antibiotics, and I was told the bite resembled a brown recluse spider. However, this was secondary to what was now a life threatening staph infection. Several hours later, I was released from the hospital with two incisions 4 inches deep and 7 inches wide left open and packed with gauze. For the next month, I would endure the most excruciating pain 3 times per day, while the surgical incisions were packed with gauze and dressed. It is unclear what the direct cause of the Staph infection. After speaking with the doctor, I learned that they see numerous patients a year that think they have a brown recluse spider bite not realizing they have a staph infection. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Staphylococcus aureus, caused more than 94,000 life-threatening infections and nearly 19,000 deaths in the United States in 2005.
Alicia Verity brings 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, along with a Master's Degree in Public Health, both of which uniquely positions her to help guide Healthagen's content and user experience. Diagnose medical symptoms and find appropriate medical care with Healthagen's free healthcare app called iTriage.