Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Spider bites on the rise

There has been a spike in the number of cases of people being bitten by redback spiders in the Hunter region this year.

Toxicologist at Newcastle's Mater Hospital, Geoff Isbister says funnelweb spider bites are fairly stable with only a handful of reported bites across Sydney and Newcastle this year.

But Doctor Isbister says this year is the worst he has seen for redback spider bites in a long time.

"We're running a trial and we've recruited more patients at the Mater than we have ever," he said.

"So we would have seen 10 cases that required antivenom and treatment here, and you can multiply that by, twice as many that didn't need treatment and we know some people get bitten and don't turn up to hospital.

"We would have seen over 100 (people bitten) in the Hunter region."

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