At medical examination the patient was febrile (TC 38 ° C), the left lower limb appeared edematous and it was painful to the touch, with widespread erythema and subcutaneous purpura up to the knee. Some livid stains appeared in the points identified as biting sites and there was a large medial malleolar blister.
Malmignatta is known as a black Mediterranean Widow and a black European Widow, all potentially poisonous. Loves dry and stony places. It is easy to meet in the low Mediterranean scrub, in the prairies, in the steppes, among the stones or hidden in the dry stone walls. It can be a problem in places where wheat is still harvested by hand. During mating, the female sometimes devours the male, so they are called black widows. The black widow feeds on substances in liquid form: it injects the gastric juices into the victims to liquefy the inside, once they have done this they suck.
For humans it is only the bite of females to be dangerous. The venom is neurotoxic, acting on the nervous system. Fortunately it usually injects a small amount that cannot kill man. The bite is painful but rarely fatal. The bite of this spider immediately creates a slight reddening of the skin and swelling; within 24 hours numerous symptoms can be manifested: muscle pains in the bite area, cramps in the abdomen, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tremors, hyperventilation, anxiety and insomnia, excessive sweating and / or salivation, hypertension Usually the symptoms after a couple of days tend to diminish until they disappear completely even without medical treatment. Throughout the months following the bite it is possible to feel tingling in the area of the bite, muscle spasms, nervousness and weakness. Only in very rare cases may be more severe symptoms related to the bite: priapism, myocarditis, paralysis, kidney failure, miscarriage, anaphylactic shock, coma.
Although there is the possibility of contracting a shock that leads to death, the mortality rate due to the bite is close to zero. The age group most at risk are children because of lower body mass. (13)
The increasing globalization and development of tourism, with increasing amounts of imported goods and people being transported to almost any part of the world, as well as global warming causing the expansions of the species areas north-wards, many non-autochthonous spider species are predicted to reach Europe and appear in our closer living environment. Therefore, awareness and knowledge of lesser-known of even foreign spider species sporadically occurring in our surroundings seem to be increasingly important, not only for toxicologist but also for emergency and internal medicine doctors, in order to provide appropriate treatment of spider bites when necessary.
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