Skinny-dipping tourist gets bitten by venomous spider on willie

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Sydney, May 14 (ANI): A Canadian tourist, who fell asleep on the sand dunes after skinny-dipping at a beach in New Zealand's far north, is said to have woken up with a bite from a venomous spider on his penis.

According to news agency NZPA, the 22-year-old man woke to find his penis swollen and painful, with a bite mark on the shaft.

By the time he reached Dargaville Hospital, his penis was severely swollen, his blood pressure was up and his heart racing.

When chest pain and other symptoms developed the next morning, doctors presumed he had been bitten by a katipo.

The man was given anti-venom but his heart problems persisted.

He was treated at Whangarei and Auckland hospitals before he returned to Canada.

The case was covered in the NZ Medical Journal after the man recorded the first known case of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, caused by a spider bite.

Nigel Harrison wrote in the journal that a venomous katipo spider, which lives in New Zealand sand dunes and attacks only in self-defence, had bitten the man.

"He woke to find his penis swollen and painful with a red mark on the shaft suggestive of a bite," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr Harrison as writing in his report.

"He rapidly developed generalised muscle pains, fever, headache, photophobia [light sensitivity] and vomiting," he stated.

The katipo, a Maori word meaning "night-stinger", is an endangered species of spider native to New Zealand, related to Australian redbacks and North American black widow spiders.

Bites are rare, but The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand reports they can cause agonising pain that develops and spreads within a few minutes.

And profuse sweating, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, convulsions, and other effects often accompany it. (ANI)

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