Teen to Have Fingers Amputated After Spider Bite Leaves Doctors Baffled

A teenage tourist will need at least two fingers amputated after he was bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider.

The 19-year-old British man was on holiday in Ibiza, Spain, when he was bitten by the crawling arachnid while enjoying a sunset view.

"I sat on some steps and felt something sting me but I didn't think anything of it," the teenager told local newspaper Diario de Ibiza. "I woke up at 5am the following morning because my hand was burning and was swelling up."

Over the next two weeks, the tourist said he undertook multiple medical tests, including an injection at a local health center, to determine why his right hand was swelling and turning purple.

Un joven turista pierde dos dedos de una mano por la picadura de una araña en Ibiza https://t.co/wbyy1rUQJH

— Diario de Mallorca (@diariomallorca) August 9, 2021

"I began to panic because my hands were turning more and more purple and the doctors told me they had never seen anything like it," he told the paper.

Eventually, he was taken to Can Misses Hospital where doctors put him on a drip and after performing a series of tests, determined he had been bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider.

The unidentified 19-year-old is believed to have returned to his home in Wales and is set to have surgery to remove two of his fingers.

"Millions of people go to the same place every year to see the sunset and nothing ever happened to them before me," he lamented.

As the name suggests, brown recluse spiders generally keep to themselves and are often found lurking in dark closets, attics, or under logs where they won't be bothered, according to WebMD.

In the U.S., they are most commonly found in the Midwest or the South.

The bodies of brown recluse spiders measure from around a quarter to three quarters of an inch, and are characterized by a violin-shaped pattern. The arachnids may bite if they feel trapped, and are one of two spiders in the U.S. which can cause serious health problems.

Symptoms of a bite can take up to two days to develop, and can include pain or redness at the site of the bite which can turn into a purple ulcer. Fever, chills, joint pain, nausea, feeling weak and in rare cases seizures or coma can occur.

brown recluse spider
File photo: The brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, has a characteristic violin-shaped marking on its back. Smith Collection/Getty Images