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How are spider bites harmful to humans?

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Quick Answer

The majority of spider bites cause painful stinging that is similar to a bee sting. Venomous spiders, such as the brown recluse and black widow, can cause adverse health reactions. People bitten by one of these spiders may experience symptoms ranging from nausea to anaphylactic shock.

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Full Answer

The majority of spider bites cause temporary pain that may last for up to an hour before subsiding. A bite from a brown recluse or black widow spider poses the threat of generalized symptoms. Not only is there pain at the point of the bite, but additional physical symptoms become evident over a period of time. Typical symptoms caused by brown recluse spiders include mild stinging, redness of the skin and mild fever. Some bites may also cause a feeling of listlessness and nausea. Brown recluse bites cause a blister to form, which is filled with fluid.

Alternatively, black widow bites are not that painful at first. Their bites feel like the pin prick of a needle. But, within a few hours, the bite produces intense pain and body stiffness. These symptoms may be followed by severe abdominal pain, chills and fever. People allergic to spider bites can experience life-threatening shock. Experts recommend monitoring spider bites for a period of 24 hours. If symptoms grow worse, seek immediate medical attention.

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