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Brown Recluse Spider Is Sometimes to Blame When Anemia Strikes

(Science Daily) As spring approaches and people return to outdoor activities, caution should be taken in areas of the country that are home to Loxosceles reclusa, also called the brown recluse spider. A new study from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found that when patients present with sudden anemia, but the cause is elusive, the brown recluse spider should be part of the differential diagnosis, at least in parts of the nation where the spider is regularly found…

[Jenny McDade, D.O.,]said most Americans should not worry about this spider, which carries a violin-shaped mark on its head and a preference for a quiet life lived in dry wood piles, under rocks or in corners of dark closets or attics. The spiders are found in parts of the Midwest and southern United States and are a regional problem. Although brown recluse bites are not a widespread cause of anemia, McDade said the diagnosis should be considered in patients with unexplained anemia who live in areas the spiders call home.

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