Local September 1, 2022 | 1:58 pm

No certainty that spiders cause serious injuries

Vice Minister Eladio Pérez suggests that the population not be alarmed. file/ld

Santo Domingo, DR
Even though the Ministry of Public Health is still uncertain as to what is causing the cases of bites in the northwest line, attributed to a species of spider, the authorities are urging society to remain calm.

The vice-minister of Collective Health, Eladio Pérez, said that they could neither affirm nor deny the origin of the lesions since “the patient himself has doubts” as to whether it was a result of an arachnid bite but that they wanted to bring a message of tranquility to the population. “No evil spiders are jumping on people, and it is simply to take the necessary measures in case of bites because it is a species of the 400 spiders that live with us daily without causing harm,” said Perez in a press conference to present the results of the investigations on the cases reported in Mao, Monte Cristi, and Villa Vasquez, among other cities of that region.

As the patient is already in the recovery stage, it is impossible for the authorities, according to the vice-minister, to identify scientifically what caused the injury. In any case, if any affected person goes for consultation with a recent wound, the diagnosis would be of an insect or arachnid bite, but it would not be specified which one.

“There are spiders, the protocol is established, and there is no outbreak of spiders that are attacking the population in an aggressive way; we simply should not bother the spiders,” reiterated the vice-minister, Perez.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gina Estrella, an emergency physician, added that in her decades of experience in the health sector, she has never received cases of spider bites, not even during her services in rural areas. “We are pigeonholed that it was the spider, but we have no way of proving it,” she said.

In the case of a patient who said that he almost lost his finger, the doctor expressed that perhaps it was not the wound caused by the arachnid but the care and hygiene with which he treated the lesion which led him to these circumstances.

The general surgeon and laparoscopist, Rafael Pichardo, had informed Listín Diario that at least 15 people were bitten by a type of spider and then clinically assisted in the last three months.


The person in charge of the biosecurity division of the Ministry of the Environment, Brigido Hierro, said that the population has been unnecessarily worried about the spiders since “up to now there is no certain evidence that it was an arthropod or another species.”

Most often, injuries or lesions blamed on spider bites are not from spider bites at all but from other arthropods and insects. Allergic reactions or improper care result in more severe reactions and injuries. Most people do not react at all to the bite of the brown recluse spider.

The official added that a case under assumptions had caused the alarm.
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