Panic after eight Bengal villagers suffer tarantula bites

Kolkata, May 25 (IANS) Panic gripped villagers in Debra block of West Bengal’s West Midnapore district after eight people had to be hospitalised due to tarantula bites and were suffering from severe allergic reactions, officials said on Wednesday.

The Debra rural hospital has admitted around eight residents following complaints of stinging sensation and swollen limbs following the spider bites.

“We had to admit at least eight people in the last couple of days. A big, hairy spider had bitten them. A dark scab-like mass had formed over the bite and they constantly complained of a burning sensation. The bite site was swollen. Two people are still in he hospital, the rest have been discharged,” an official at the hospital told IANS.

According to the official, after the initial series of reports, the villagers have become alert and rush in whenever they receive any insect bite.

Officials at the Midnapore Medical College also confirmed hospitalisation of at least one person from spider bite.

“The affected people have been treated and they are fine,”Jagdish Prasad Meena, West Midnapore district magistrate, told IANS.

Kailash Chandra, Director, Zoological Survey of India, said their entomologist had identified the spider as a tarantula.

“From the photos that were shown to entomologist Sankar Talukdar, it is identified as a tarantula. Bite from this particular variety is not fatal but there could be allergic reactions,” Chandra told IANS.



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