According to an article by Dr. Beverly Clark, in the Journal of the Medical
      Association (JMA), the mystery behind a recent spate of deaths has been
      solved. If you haven't already heard about it in the news, here is what
      happened. 9 people in the Johannesburg and Pretoria area, turned up at
      hospitals over a 5 day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills,
      and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death.

      There were no outward signs of trauma. Autopsy results showed toxicity in
      the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing
      in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited some
      restaurants around the above mentioned areas , within days of their deaths.
      The health department descended on the surrounding areas, shutting it down.
      The food, water, and air-conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no

      The big break came when a waitress at one restaurant was rushed to the
      hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on
      vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did
      not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.

      That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out
      to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat.

      Under the seat, out of normal view, was small spider. The spider was
      captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the
      South American Blush Spider (arachnius gluteus), so named because of its
      reddened flesh color. This spider's venom is extremely toxic, but can take
      several days to take effect.

      They live in cold, dark, damp, climates, and toilet rims provide just the
      right atmosphere. Several days later a lawyer from Bloemfontein showed up at
      a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had
      been away on business, before returning home. He did not visit any
      resturants while away from home. He did, as did all of the other victims,
      have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock. So
      please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders.
      It can save your life! And please pass this on to everyone you care about.