Woman survives funnel web bite

A woman who was bitten by a deadly funnel web spider last week considers herself lucky.

Bev Munro was rushed to Moruya District Hospital after the female funnel web bit her on the finger while she was gardening.

The 62-year-old and her husband are from the Queensland’s Gold Coast and are visiting relatives in Narooma.

Ms Munro was weeding and raking when she was bitten.

“I did have gloves on but I took them off and I was raking up bits and pieces and putting it in a bag,” she said.

“The last one I picked up I felt this terrible pain and I looked down and saw a spider on my finger.

“I saw it and I thought it was a funnel web. I flicked it off.”

She went inside and told her husband, who inspected the spider for himself.

“He panicked and ran and got a bottle and put the spider in the bottle and raced me down to the Lighthouse Surgery,” she said.

A doctor applied a pressure bandage and gave Ms Munro oxygen and she was taken to Moruya Hospital in an ambulance.

She stayed there for about eight hours and was closely monitored.

In the end Ms Munro didn’t need antivenom as the pressure bandage was enough to stop the flow of poison.

She said poison specialists suggested they wait until Ms Munro’s condition changed before they gave her the injection.

“They don’t like to give it to you unless it’s really, really necessary,” she said.

Luckily, Ms Munro’s condition didn’t change.

“I was glad really, I was lucky.”

Ms Munro said the particular spider wasn’t as aggressive as other funnel webs found in Sydney, but she was told they could still cause a lot of problems.

“It knocked me around a little bit with headaches,” she said. “I wasn’t feeling good the next day.

The ordeal has put her off gardening, but she expects it’ll only be for the short term.

“I’m a bit hesitant now,” she admitted. “When I look at where it came from I get the shivers a bit!

“I will start again but I’ll make sure I’ve got gloves on.”

Ms Munro wants residents to be aware there are funnel webs out there.

“You think it’ll never happen to you.

“You hear about it, but this will make you aware that they are here and it can happen.”

The funnel web spider species found on the South Coast is known as the Illawarra Group Atrax Robustus, which is closely related to the Sydney funnel web spider. It is believed the male is the most deadly to humans.

According to the Australian Museum, Sydney funnel webs have one of the most toxic venoms to humans of any spider, but not all funnel web bites are life-threatening.

According to the museum, venom of young and female funnel web spiders are less toxic.

No one has died from a funnel web bite since the antivenom was introduced.

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