Are black widow bites fatal?

Black widows produce a toxin that affects the nervous system, and muscle pain and tightness of the chest are some of the most common side affects to a bite. Swelling can be seen in some extremities, but is rarely observed at the location of the bite.  Other symptoms that may occur after being bite by a black widow is restlessness, sweating, difficulty with breathing and speech.  While most symptoms are severe only the first day, some may continue for several weeks or a month after the bite, but after the first 2-3 days, the symptoms will usually decline.  In most cases, black widow bites typically affect the extremely young or elderly more severely than the rest of the general population.


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