I am the first to admit, I am jaded. My experience has almost exclusively been of meeting people that were incorrectly diagnosed with spider bites that actually had Staphylococcal skin infections. This is why I was a little bit surprised to see this blurb in an article about the Brown Recluse spider about a woman who doesn’t believe the “bacteria bit” and is sure she was bitten by a spider.
A bacteria — staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to penicillin-based antibiotics — could be the cause of many of the suspected spider bites. Knapp said the bacteria are found in the north state and can be picked up simply by touching a doorknob.
Cheryl Lam of Mount Shasta doesn’t buy the bacteria bit. She said she was bitten by a brown recluse in 1995 when she was on a riding lawn mower in Michigan, a state not known to have brown recluses.
“My life ended that day,” she said.
Lam said the bite started a cascade of medical problems that trouble her to this day. She has found some comfort on a Web site — www.highway60.com/mark/BRS — where people from all 50 states have posted stories about run-ins with the brown recluse.
Vetter, who has seen the site, said people have a need to believe that something more tangible than bacteria is the cause of their health problems.
“There really is a strong psychology thing going on here,” he said.
I have talked to our doctor about this several times, and she still stands by the fact that the Brown Recluse will carry the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and we do definitely have them here in Texas – but I am 100% sure, in our case, that an ingrown hair was the source of the infection, as I saw that infection fester up from the day I cut his hair and shaved his neck.