A 10-year-old Australian boy has survived a bite from one of the world’s deadliest spiders after taking a record 12 vials of anti-venom, local media reported.
Matthew Mitchell was helping his dad clear out the back shed at their home north of Sydney when he was bitten on the finger by a funnel-web spider that had been lurking in his shoe.
“It sort of clawed onto me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn’t get it off,” he told the Australian Daily Telegraph.
His family used his shirt as a compression bandage to try to slow the venom’s spread and rushed him to a hospital.
He experienced convulsions but survived after being given 12 vials of anti-venom, which local media said was an Australian record.
The funnel-web spider is among the world’s deadliest spiders. Its venom attacks the nervous system, causing foaming at the mouth, muscle spasms and potentially death.
The 10-year-old was “as lucky as they get,” Australian Reptile Park general manager Tim Faulkner told The Telegraph.
Australia is home to a startling number of the world’s deadliest creatures, including snakes, spiders, jellyfish and octopuses.
The funnel-web is particularly feared, but no deaths have been recorded since the anti-venom was developed in the 1980s.
In December, a 5-year-old girl was rushed to a hospital with a swollen leg after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a spider bite.
Lola Hutton came home from school complaining of an itchy leg and within hours she had developed an agonizing lump “about half the size of a Ferrero Rocher,” a round chocolate treat a little smaller than a ping-pong ball.
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