Sadiya, an Indian town in the North East region of the country, was reportedly overrun by venomous spiders. The Times of India reported two people have died from spider related attacks.
Officials are not certain which specials is responsible for the swarm, but the invaders entered the city about two weeks before the attacks. Scientists were sent in to the area to study the spiders and they have not been able to identify their species or place of origin.
“As of now, we cannot give a specific name. It’s similar to the tarantula, but it could be a whole new species,” Dr. L. R. Saikia of the Life Sciences department at Dibrugarh University was quoted as saying.
Dr. Ratul Rajkhowa, from Cotton College, thinks the swam of arachinds could be black wishbones or a member of the funnel-web spider family, neither of which are usually found near the town.
“[W]hatever the species, it is a highly aggressive spider,” he said. “It leaps at anything that comes close. Some of the victims claimed the spider latched onto them after biting.”
Now it’s believed that the bite victims’ injuries may have been made worse by having witch doctors treat their wounds instead of seeking professional help from a medical doctor, according to Dr. Anil Phatowali of Sadiya Civil Hospital.
“We cannot say for sure that the fatalities were due to the venom,” He told the Times of India. “It could have been because of allergic reaction to the venom, which triggered cardiac arrest in both the victims. But all the bite patients first went to witch doctors, who cut open their wounds with razors, drained out blood and burnt it. That could have also made them sick.”