11 Oct, 2018 @ 12:28
2 mins read

WARNING: Expat hospitalised after SAVAGE ‘spider bite’ caused her skin to ROT on Spain’s Costa del Sol, doctors say it was a black widow or recluse

SAVAGE: Mediterranean Black Widow packs a nasty bite

SPIDERS whose bite can lead to rotting of the flesh could be living on the Costa del Sol, an expat has warned.

Aurelia Nesslany, 49, is sounding the alarm after she was hospitalised and treated for OVER A MONTH after being bitten by a mysterious eight-legged beast in Estepona.

The French expat was enjoying a game of cards at the town’s Nautical Club when she was bitten behind her knee in August – and she has only just recovered.

“I immediately felt the bite and the pain was absolute agony,” she told the Olive Press, “I tried to sleep it off that night but my legs and arms started cramping.”


HOSPITALISED: Aurelia had venom infecting her whole body

As her condition deteriorated, Nesslany was rushed to nearby Hospiten the next morning.

“The venom had got into my blood and doctors told me my whole body was infected, it was really scary.”

The bite was so strong it caused Nesslany to catch necrosis – a reaction that sees the skin and tissue begin to die and rot – on her leg near the bite.

“I had to have an operation to remove the dead skin,” she recalled, “I was also vomiting and felt nauseous for a week.”


OUCH: The bite went red and black very quickly

Nesslany had to check in with doctors every other day for over a month before she was given the all clear, although doctors told her the venom will remain in her system for six months.

While the type of spider was never confirmed, doctors told Nesslany her symptoms were a match for only two breeds – the ‘Violinist’ brown recluse spider and the Mediterranean Black Widow – a close relative of the fatal Black Widow, found predominantly in Australia.


EARLY ON: Aurelia’s leg before it turned black and began to rot

“Expats and locals need to be really careful,” added Nesslany, “I really hope the club has fumigated or done something because if that spider bites a baby it could easily kill it.”

Experienced vet and spider enthusiast Molly Grace called for calm, telling the Olive Press: “Bacteria from the bite of any bug can cause that reaction not necessarily a spider as spider bites are extremely rare.

“That’s not to say she wasn’t bitten by a spider it’s just more likely to get stung by a wasp or bitten by a dog than by a spider.
“The symptoms she is is describing are more of the American recluse (Loxoceles reclusa) which does not exist here in Spain.
“Which would lead me to believe it is a bacterial infection.”
She added that spiders are very important to the ecosystem

We have reached out to the Nautical Club for comment.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said doctors told Aurelia it could have been a tarantula, it meant to read brown recluse

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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