Bengal Shudders In Fear Of Tarantulas


Kolkata: Parts of West Bengal are in the grips of tarantula scares after dozens of people reported getting bitten. Panic has spread across villages in several districts over suspected tarantula bites.

It all started in the West Midnapur district about three weeks back when villagers from Danton, Debra, and Keshiary went to local hospitals complaining of spider bites.

There have been no fatalities so far, and experts said residents might be over-estimating a natural phenomenon. They reported pain, swelling, blackening of areas around the bite wounds, and even respiratory problems.

However, all the bite victims were discharged from the hospitals within a few days, and recovered.

There was a panic at Debra block of Bengal’s Paschim Midnapore district after eight people were hospitalised due to spider-bites in 2016. All the victims were discharged after preliminary treatment.

This year also tarantula is being seen in Debra, Jhargram, Howrah and more places. The victims however alleged that they suffered from severe allergic reactions after the bite.
The Debra rural hospital admitted around eight residents following complaints of stinging sensation and swollen limbs following the spider bites. But all of them were discharged later.

Locals in Debra said that a big, hairy spider had bitten them. The bite created a dark scab-like mass there was constant burning sensation around wounds. The wound gets swollen in no moment.

Pintu Sahoo (38), a resident of Chatri village in Purba Medinipur district’s Egra died in Egra Super-specialty hospital after being bit by a spider on Howrah-bound Kanyakumari Express. Doctors suspect that the cause was death was that of spider venom and also claim that Sahoo could have been saved if treated on time.