‘Be vigilant’: North Jackson man bit by venomous brown recluse spider

Local News

"My leg was on fire. It was like if you were to stick your arm or leg over a fire pit and burn it."

NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – Humans aren’t the only species that get outside when the temperature rises. Especially when it’s this humid, there could be dangerous insects lingering where you’d least expect.

Venomous brown recluse spiders are most often found in hot, dry, abandoned areas, such as wood or rock piles.

Although they are not extremely common, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said these spiders do live in Ohio.

This insect, identified by its long, thin legs and reddish-brown body,
can cause serious harm. A spider bite from a recluse can cause ulcers, though everyone reacts differently.

“An area of ulceration at the center of the bite can occur after you get bit and it can cause some tissue damage, and then leave you open for infection,” said Dr. Amanda Mason, an emergency room physician at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

She said if you ever have a bite that causes irritation or rings around the site, always get medical attention.

That’s exactly what one North Jackson man had to do after a bite on his leg
turned a color he never expected in just one hour.

“Be vigilant. They could be anywhere. Protect your home and your children,” Jim Wilson said.

He thought he’d been stung by a bee but the bite on his upper left thigh felt much more serious.

“My leg was on fire. It was like if you were to stick your arm or leg over a fire pit and burn it,” Wilson said.

He’d been cutting trees on his property.

“It must have crawled up my pant leg on the inside and bit me.”

Wilson quickly knew something wasn’t right after he felt the bite and smashed the spider in his pant leg.

“Within one hour, a circle about the size of a silver dollar turned coal black. It had killed the meat and the skin in my leg.”

North Jackson man bit by brown recluse spider

He immediately went to the emergency room at St. E’s, where
they identified his wound as a bite from a brown recluse spider.

The sooner the treatment, the better.

“Protect your children because this bite to a child could be fatal because their immune system isn’t as strong as ours,” Wilson said.

He sprays his home inside and out with repellent every year, but still checks everything.

Wilson said he now cuts wood with more clothing covering his skin but
won’t let the bite stop him from living life.

“Insects are everywhere and you can’t be afraid, not to go outside or not to do something because of this. But just be more vigilant and look…what’s going on.”

Doctors gave Wilson antibiotics to treat his bite.

On Monday morning, he is going to the infectious disease department in Cleveland to get checked by them as well.

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