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Yellow sack spider reports trigger hysteria in Austria
AP ^ | 04 Aug 2006 | AP

Posted on 08/06/2006 7:50:35 PM PDT by Marius3188

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- An eight-legged invasion is giving some Austrians the creeps.

The venomous yellow sack spider, whose painful bite can cause headache and nausea, has become the talk of the country since several people were bitten earlier this summer.

Reports of spider sightings have dominated the local news, triggering hundreds of calls to a Vienna poison hot line and prompting the government to plead for calm.

"The bites of a yellow sack spider are indeed painful but not deadly," Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat said in a statement. "If you are bitten, please don't panic and in case of discomfort immediately contact a doctor."

In a sign of the hysteria, 190 people went to a hospital Wednesday in the northwestern city of Linz fearing they had been bitten. Only eight of them had the right symptoms, doctors told Austrian state broadcaster ORF.

Eva Reiner, a Vienna business consultant, fished a dead yellow sack spider out of her pool this week -- and hasn't gone swimming since.

"It wasn't even alive, and it still looked evil to me," she said.

Experts are urging people to keep their perspective.

The yellow and brown striped critter -- Cheiracanthium punctorium in Latin -- is one of 1,000 similar species found in Austria and neighboring countries, said Christian Komposch of an animal ecology institute in the southern city of Graz.

There are sightings every year, said Komposch, who accused the news media of spreading misleading information and fanning the frenzy.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: austria; hysteria; mind; spider; yellow
It's all in the head.
1 posted on 08/06/2006 7:50:39 PM PDT by Marius3188
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To: Marius3188

BFD! What a nation of wimps.


2 posted on 08/06/2006 7:53:12 PM PDT by Scotsman will be Free
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Marius3188
Nurse, I've been bitten! Give me mouth to mouth resuscitation!

Yes, it's all in the mind, you know.
4 posted on 08/06/2006 7:55:18 PM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: Scotsman will be Free
"What a nation of wimps."

From the country that brought your Freud, Hitler and the Sachertorte...
5 posted on 08/06/2006 7:55:46 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Marius3188
poison Sack?


6 posted on 08/06/2006 7:56:13 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: metmom
... is one of 1,000 similar species found in Austria ....
7 posted on 08/06/2006 7:56:16 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: Marius3188
There are sightings every year, said Komposch, who accused the news media of spreading misleading information and fanning the frenzy.

Fake but accurate.

8 posted on 08/06/2006 7:56:47 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot

Duh! I noticed that too late. You're right. One doesn't tend to hear much about poisonous ANYTHING in AUSTRIA s in my haste I misread it.


9 posted on 08/06/2006 7:58:03 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Marius3188

Years ago we had an invasion of grey taurantulas. They were smaller than the classic black ones but very creepy. We managed to seal up the holes in our house and kept them out.


10 posted on 08/06/2006 8:09:20 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Marius3188
Here's what they look like, but the image has no size reference so who knows how big they get?


11 posted on 08/06/2006 8:20:45 PM PDT by capt. norm (Bumper Sticker: Honk if you've never seen an Uzi shoot from a car window.)
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To: Marius3188

Venemous yellow sacks? Sounds like an MSM description.


12 posted on 08/06/2006 8:26:52 PM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301
Venemous yellow sacks? Sounds like an MSM description.

No, the MSM would be venemous brown sacks.

13 posted on 08/06/2006 8:29:21 PM PDT by magslinger (Without Freedom, Utopia isn't paradise after all. It's just hell in a fancy prom dress. Steven James)
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To: capt. norm

I can't tell if that's a Toyota or a Chevy in the first joint of the tentacle curved back into its mouth, but either way, yikes!


14 posted on 08/06/2006 8:34:56 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (You're never more than a half-step away from a good note.)
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To: Marius3188

I'm sure they all shrug their shoulders at reports of incoming rockets in Haifa. But a few yellow spiders in their own home town has them all cringing with fear.

Euroweenies.


15 posted on 08/06/2006 8:37:20 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: capt. norm
"but the image has no size reference so who knows how big they get?"

About 10mm.

I googled it to make sure they weren't in this area. Seems they aren't well suited to hot dry climate.

We have enough in Black Widows, Brown Recluse and scorpions (although the scorpions aren't poisonous).
16 posted on 08/06/2006 8:37:38 PM PDT by loboinok (Gun control is, hitting what you aim at!)
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To: Marius3188
Austria? First time I saw something about this spider either it was mistyped or I misread it as Australia. I thought it was strange that the Aussies would get worked up over a spider that "can cause headache and nausea" considering some of their spiders can kill you at 50 paces just from looking at you - or at least that's what it sounds like when they describe their wildlife.
17 posted on 08/06/2006 8:44:11 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Loose lips sink ships - and the New York Times really doesn't have a problem with sinking ships.)
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To: loboinok
(although the scorpions aren't poisonous)

True, but in the same way wasps and hornets are not poisonous. They can put one heck of an OUCH on you.

We have then here too. I took my grandchildren out one night with a portable UV light so they could see how they glow under the UV light.

Doesn't take too long to find them around tree bark, old logs etc. When you start to picture them as "land shrimp",


("Ummmmm! land shrimp!")
it's time to go back to the house and pig out.

18 posted on 08/06/2006 8:50:21 PM PDT by capt. norm (Bumper Sticker: Honk if you've never seen an Uzi shoot from a car window.)
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To: capt. norm

LOL - "land shrimp", apt description.

I guess those sac spiders are around here after all. I got it mixed up with the "Hobo" spider.

I haven't seen any sac spiders around here though.


19 posted on 08/06/2006 9:22:00 PM PDT by loboinok (Gun control is, hitting what you aim at!)
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To: capt. norm
We had a scorpion in the house this morning - yikes. Hubby swept him up and flushed him.

I initially read the heading as Australia, also.

20 posted on 08/06/2006 10:06:48 PM PDT by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch (good fences make good neighbors!)
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To: Tuscaloosa Goldfinch

"We had a scorpion in the house this morning - yikes. Hubby swept him up and flushed him."

Don't they clog up the pipes? I thought the critters were kinda big.


21 posted on 08/06/2006 10:12:25 PM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: capt. norm

Many years ago when I took geology in college the professor was always careful to place a rock hammer or other object of known size in any slide he took so the audience would know the real size of the formation that had been photographed. It definitely pays to to the same thing when photographing insects or arachnids.


22 posted on 08/07/2006 5:37:24 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: libstripper

I had no choice on the photos 'cause I didn't take the pictures...I just referenced their URLs.


23 posted on 08/07/2006 7:30:20 AM PDT by capt. norm (Bumper Sticker: Honk if you've never seen an Uzi shoot from a car window.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
You forgot Ahhnuld!!
24 posted on 08/07/2006 7:34:09 AM PDT by JZelle
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To: peggybac
Don't they clog up the pipes? I thought the critters were kinda big.

Not here - the biggest ones I've seen in this area are about 1" - 1 1/2" long - cricket size, basically.

25 posted on 08/07/2006 8:27:00 PM PDT by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch (good fences make good neighbors!)
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