Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Spiders Have Invaded A Town In India
Recently a swarm of possibly venomous spiders has reportedly invaded a town in India and two people have died after being bitten.
The residents of Sadiya, in Assam state, said they were celebrating a Hindu festival on the evening of May 8 when swarms of spiders suddenly appeared and attacked them, The Times of India reported.
Two people died over the next few days, including a man and a schoolboy, and many more turned up at the town's hospital after being bitten.
Authorities are considering fogging the town with insecticide DDT to kill the spiders and a team of life scientists has arrived in the town to identify the arachnids.
"As of now, we cannot give a specific name. It's similar to a tarantula but it could be a whole new species" Dr L R Saikia, head of the Department of Life Sciences at Dibrugarh University, said.
"But whatever the species, it is a highly aggressive spider. It leaps at anything that comes close."
Dr Saikia said it was "too early to declare it a killer spider" because its venom had not yet been tested for toxicity.
The superintendent of Sadiya Civil Hospital said it was not certain the deaths were due to the spiders' venom.
"It could have been an allergic reaction to the venom, which triggered cardiac arrest in both the victims," Dr Anil Phatowali said.
"But all the bite patients first went to witch doctors, who cut open their wounds with razors, drained out blood and burnt it. That could have also made them sick."