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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory:

I heard that if you get bitten by a brown recluse spider and you don't do a anything to help it, The wound will get bigger. I have also heard that it will look like a scab and if you don't help it you might to cut off that part or your body. Is that true?

Stacie Shaw

Mesquite, Texas

Dear Stacie:

Yes, a bad bite will get worse if not treated. Anyone who might have been bitten by a brown recluse or black widow spider should see a doctor right away.

Like all spiders, the brown recluse uses poison (venom) to kill or paralyze its food. In humans, the venom usually only causes nearby skin tissue to die, a mild reaction.

But about ten percent of the bites are severe, and cause a large area of tissue to die and fall away. The wound can take weeks or months to heal.

In extreme cases, the damage can reach muscle or even bone.

A brown recluse bite should be washed well with soap and water. Use ice packs instead of heat, because the spider's venom is activated by warmth. If the bite is on an arm or leg, elevate the part and keep it still. If possible, ask an adult to safely catch the spider (alive or dead) so that it can be identified.

Spider Sites

Brown recluse spiders are often found in warmer parts of the United States, but are common in the Midwest, and live in almost every state. They are sometimes called the fiddle-back spider because of a violin-shaped mark on their backs.

They usually bite people only in self-defense, when their dark, out-of-the-way hiding places are disturbed. Trying on a shoe stored in the attic or cellar, for example, might prompt a hidden spider to bite to protect itself.

Dear Dr. Cory:

I am ten and a half years old, and I have asthma. I had it when I was a baby. It has come back. When I run in P.E. class, I get an Asthma attack. What should I do?

Madison Hayes

Glasgow, Kentucky

Dear Madison:

Many people with asthma (AZ-muh) can have symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or even chest pain after exercise.

Sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey, that involve running or intense activity for long periods can cause more problems than shorter activities like baseball, football, short-distance track events, golfing, or gymnastics.

Symptoms can be worse in cold, dry air, so some people have better luck with sports performed in warm, moist air, like swimming.

You can still exercise. People with asthma just have to learn to control it with medicine and by finding the sport that works best for them. Many athletes with exercise-related asthma have done great--even winning Olympic gold medals!

See you next issue! Your friend,

Cory SerVaas, M.D.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:spider bites, childhood asthma
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Jack & Jill
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Previous Article:Frightfully big flowers.
Next Article:Josie and the hockey team.

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