JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Sting Symptoms

Jellyfish Sting Symptoms picture

Jellyfish Sting Symptoms

Jellyfish are very fascinating creature. They exist in all the oceans across the world. There are more than 2,000 species of jellyfish known today and new ones are found everyday. They are also considered to be the oldest creatures to live on the earth. Jellyfish are found not just on the surface of the water but also in the very depths.

Not all jellyfish sting. Some of them are not harmful to humans. Different jellyfish carry different venom and the symptoms and treatment of the sting differs from one to the other. The Stomolophus meleagris, also known as cannonball jelly, jellyball or cabbage head jelly, for example, is completely harmless to human beings. Cyanea capillat, also known as Lion's Mane or winter jelly on the other hand does sting and it causes a prickling and burning sensation that can be quite intense.

The usual symptoms of a sting are a heavy rash which is very itchy along with a burning sensation. Nausea, vomiting and high blood pressure follow. A sting can also result in fever, shock, heart and respiratory problems and in some cases even death. Jellyfish stings can react differently based upon the species they belong to.

Aurelia aurita, also known as Moon Jelly is amongst the most famous species of jellyfish. It is often kept and bred in captivity. A sting from this jellyfish causes a rash but the other symptoms like nausea and high blood pressure begin to show up only after 30 to 40 minutes. The symptoms of a moon jellyfish sting include prickling sensation and mild burning. Chironex fleckeri, also known as the box jellyfish, marine stinger, or sea wasp is considered most dangerous to human beings. The sting from a box jellyfish can lead to cardiovascular collapse accompanied by respiratory failure and neuromuscular paralysis and is fatal. A Chironex fleckeri sting can kill 60 humans in a period of 3 minutes. However not all species of box jellyfish are dangerous to humans.

Different people react differently to jellyfish stings. This also depends on the species and the location. The first hour after the sting is very painful. Stings can leave a permanent scar if not treated immediately. In some cases, like a box jellyfish sting, medical treatment must be sought as the consequences could be fatal otherwise. Basic first-aid can also help reduce the pain.

For most jellyfish stings the immediate treatment is to bathe the sting with vinegar. Sea water can also be used in the absence of vinegar. The sting should not be rubbed as the venom from the embedded nematocysts will get released. The blood circulation of the body must not be hampered. Tying of the area of the sting can increase the toxicity of the area. This could also lead to amputation. First aid kits contain creams and lotions that are available over the counter to treat minor, non-poisonous stings e.g. Safesea lotion, etc. Any plans of being in water which contain jellyfish must have a first aid kit and easy access for medical help.

Learn more about Jellyfish Stings and Jellyfish Safety

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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