A Canadian tourist suffered a serious heart inflammation called myocarditis after he was bitten by a poisonous spider when he went swimming nude in New Zealand.
The 22 year old man fell asleep on the sand dunes in Northland, Wellington. He then got bitten by the spider on his penis. He was taken to the Dargaville Hospital where his condition worsened. He developed high blood pressure and chest pains and was treated with antidotes to the poison.
The Katipo spider causes muscle pain, fever, headache, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Dr Nigel Harrison said that it was a nasty bite. After his heart problems did not resolve he was treated at Whangarei Hospital and Auckland Hospital before returning to Canada. Reports say that he was discharged after 16 days in the hospital.
This the first known case of myocarditis caused by the Katipo spider bite. Its name means “night stinger” in Maori. This spider is a small endangered species native to New Zealand. The female is black with a white bordered red stripe on its back while the male is white with black stripes and red diamond shaped markings. It is a close relative of the Australian Redback and North American Black Widow spiders. The bites are extremely painful and are accompanied by intense sweating, breathlessness, vomiting, convulsions etc.