This 62 year old female went to a local ER complaining of a bite and a painful red rash with a high fever. She looked toxic and was admitted to the hospital. The rash was somewhat mysterious. She was seen by three different ID doctors who ultimately diagnosed staph cellulitis secondary to the bite of a Brown Recluse Spider. Neat diagnosis. After a few days she was discharged from the hospital.
She developed other symptoms and sought care elsewhere: joint pain, brain fog, severe headaches, numbness and tingling and others. She had periods of frank confusion. At times she was unable to speak.
Two LLMDS diagnosed Lyme and Babesia. She was treated aggressively, inclusive of several months of intravenous Rocephin. Eighteen months later, 70% improved, she walked into my office.
She was treated another 7 months. That was two years ago.
Today she came in for a non-Lyme issue - in complete remission for two years.
Brown Recluse Spiders do not live in Maryland. Their habitat includes the Midwest and the south.
Even if they lived here - they are generally docile and bites are rare. But they don't live in Maryland. Never have.
Still, this is a common diagnosis.