Socorro Woman Dealing With Painful Wound From Spider Bite

Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 10:48pm

A Socorro woman is dealing with a painful wound.  She says a venomous spider is responsible and she's got a warning for people in the Borderland.

"It feels hot, like when you burn yourself with the stove and, inside, it feels tingly," said Rosa Contreras.

The sight is painful to even look at -- a wound 6 centimeters wide and within a centimeter of her bone. This is what Contreras is dealing with after she says a brown recluse spider bit her.

"It was stuck on me. And then, I started hitting it and hitting it with my hand, but it wouldn't let go. It was clinging to me," said Contreras.

Last week, Rosa was playing fetch with her dogs. She reached into a pile of brush to get the ball after she threw it too far and that's when the spider struck.

"About 20 to 25 minutes later, from here to here, it started getting black and swollen," said Contreras, pointing from her wrist to halfway up her forearm.

Rosa developed an abscess and could not go to the hospital until the following day because she didn't have a ride. She was treated with antibiotics but she says neither the abscess nor the pain nor the fever would go away and she says, "You could tell every day that it was eating away at my flesh."

One week after being bitten Rosa wound up having surgery to remove the abscess but she said, prior to that, she considered taking matters into her own hands.

"I got a knife ready and I said, 'If they don't drain this, I'm going to cut it and drain it myself.' But thank God, they did surgery," said Contreras.

Rick LoBello with the El Paso Zoo, says the best way to prevent spiders form being a problem in your home is to make sure you don't have any clutter.

"Because any place you have a lot of clutter and it's cool and it's dark is a great place for a brown recluse spider," said LoBello.

Rosa suggests spraying for bugs and her advice if you do get bitten by a spider: "What I want is for people to take it serious if they're bitten by a spider, go to the hospital and insist to be treated."

The Poison Control Center tells us they have seen the number of spider-related calls nearly double from this same time last year to 28. We also called a number of hospitals in the area to see if they've seen an increase. Sierra Providence told us they have not. UMC said it would take about two weeks to gather those numbers. While a spokewoman for Las Palmas told us it would be "too much trouble" to get the numbers for us.

Poison Control wants to remind people that they are available to assist the public with any questions 24 hours a day in English and in Spanish. Their number is 1-800-222-1222.



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