Deadly Spider Alert

 | Thu 24 Jul 2014 23:00 ICT

CityNews – Chiang Mai social media is abuzz following yesterday’s announcement that a deadly brown recluse spider, native to the United States, has been discovered in the city.

A brown recluse spider. Image from Wikipedia.

The announcement was made by the Fifth Special Force Regiment, and comes hot on the heels of another incident involving a man from Phrae who was bitten earlier this month.

Uthai Viengkam, 46, was bitten multiple times on his leg and foot while in bed at home on July 8. While his condition is now stable, doctors say they may have to amputate his leg. He has also suffered kidney failure and struggles to breathe.

Brown recluse spiders like to build webs in low areas, such as under chairs or tables. They are not native to Thailand and it is believed that they may have arrived with imported goods from the United States.

“This is the first official report of a brown recluse spider bite in Thailand,” Dr Thanjira Jiranantakan, a toxicologist at Siriraj Hospital who has analysed the spiders collected from Uthai’s home, was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.

She added that Uthai’s bites were infected by bacteria, causing a blood infection and low platelet count, and that the case is extreme since most bites do not cause such a strong reaction.

The Fifth Special Force Regiment is asking the public to be on high alert.