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The red back spider is almost as dangerous as the black widow spider. The bite of this spider is one of the most common spider bites in Australia and before the anti-venom was created in 1956, many people died because the red back spider bit them, since only a small amount of their poison is needed to attack the central nervous system, and cause serious harm to human body and even death.

Red back spiders live in Australia and Tasmania. Females are different in their appearance from males. Females have spherical black abdomens with orange red streaks. Their sticky and messy web is usually much easier noticeable, than the spiders themselves. They feed on small bugs and, sometimes, even lizards. They move in places where they can find food for themselves. Often they can be found near human settlements, in houses, cars, mailboxes, because the humans create perfect conditions for them. Only the bite from the female red back spider is dangerous and it can cause paralysis and even death. More than 250 people receive the anti-venom every year. The chances of being bitten are not very high unless one directly steps on the red back spider.

The fact that there were no deaths since the anti-venom was created is very encouraging. It is because the venom spreads slowly and there is enough time to go to the hospital and receive the anti-venom. When someone is bitten, a very severe pain is the first indication. Symptoms that follow are nausea, pain in the stomach, and difficulties in breathing. As the time passes, the bitten person starts to cough and the heart starts to beat rapidly.

However, no matter how terrifying and potentially dangerous this bite is, there is no reason for panic, because, even if the bitten person lives in a place that is not near the hospital, there is still enough time to reach one. A person might feel weakness and should try to keep calm and restrict movements. Applying pressure on the bitten place is not recommended, because it can easily worsen the pain. What one can do at home is to put ice on the bitten place in order to stop the swelling. Since the poison travels slowly, there is definitely enough time to get to the hospital, receive the anti-venom and stop pain with medications. If possible, it is highly recommended to bring the spider along with you so that a doctor can identify the type of the spider.

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