PORT ANGELES – What seemed like a minor spider bite almost turned deadly for a Port Angeles plumber.
The Peninsula Daily News reported that Joel Roberson was working on a plumbing job in May when a tiny spider bit him.
A few days later, his leg had swollen to twice its size, then fevers set in. Doctors gave him antibiotics, and he improved, but he soon developed a full-body skin rash.
The bite had let in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — commonly known as MRSA.
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“They told me that I had to have surgery, that I could die from this,” Roberson said.
MRSA is a common virus – 1 in 6 people has it on his or her body – but if it gets in the bloodstream through a cut or an opening, it is extremely resistant to antibiotics and can be fatal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Roberson had to undergo surgery to stave off the damage to his body. Doctors cut a 5-inch-long incision to remove infected areas of skin and tissue.
For six days, he had to live in isolation because MRSA is extremely contagious, he said. He is now recovering, but before the bite he had canceled his medical insurance and now faces debt.