Brothers allowed black widow to bite them believing they'd turn into Spider-Man: report

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Three young Bolivian boys were hospitalized earlier this month when they were bitten by a black widow spider while tending goats in a small Bolivian village, a report Monday said.

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Believing a bite by the spider would give them powers like comic book superhero Spider-Man, the boys, aged 12, 10 and 8  from Chayanta, a town in the Andean region of Potosi, approached the spider on May 14 and poked it with a stick, Virgilio Pietro, epidemiology chief at the Bolivian Ministry of health told Telemundo.

Three young Bolivian boys were treated in the hospital after an encounter with a black widow spider on May 14. (iSTOCK)

Three young Bolivian boys were treated in the hospital after an encounter with a black widow spider on May 14. (iSTOCK)


The first symptoms appeared within a few minutes. Their mother rushed them to a local health center. Their health did not improve and they were transferred to a hospital in the town of Llallagua.

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When the boys failed to improve overnight, they were taken to the Children's Hospital in La Paz, with muscular pain, sweating, fever and general tremors, Pietro explained. After administering a serum against bites, they improved until they were discharged on May 20, Telemundo reported.

The black widow is not usually aggressive, the report said.