JellyFish Facts

Swarms of Stinging Jellyfish

Swarms of Stinging Jellyfish picture

Swarms of Stinging Jellyfish

Jellyfish swarms or blooms as they are also known are becoming a menace in some of the worlds' most popular tourist locations. Every year there are around 150 million or more people who are stung by jellyfish and swarms of stinging jellyfish are causing havoc for fisheries and tourism alike. Warmer water temperatures are attractive to jellyfish so as the summer and spring seasons approach the jellyfish swarms make their way towards many popular locations around the world which is hazardous for swimmers.

One frightening swarm for a swimmer to encounter is one which consists of only Irukandji jellyfish. These jellyfish are found in Queensland, Australia along the northern coasts and can be as small as the little fingernail on an adults little finger. These jellyfish are also very hard to see not only because of their size but also because of their transparent color. Because these jellyfish are so small and difficult to see there can be hundreds or even thousands of these marine creatures in a single cubic metre of water.

Irukandji jellyfish have a very nasty sting which can be fatal if not promptly treated with proper medical attention. The irukandji sting once stung multiple times will result in Irukandji syndrome. This begins as a mild localised pain which isn't shown with skin marking. After about 30 to 40 minutes the typical symptoms of the syndrome will begin to appear. These symptoms are muscle cramping, abdominal pain, back pain, prostration, hypertension and occasionally there much more serious pulmonary, respiratory or cardiac complications. Pulmonary Oedema may also occur which is potentially lethal as well as being extremely unpleasant for the victim.

There is no antivenom available for an Irukandji jellyfish sting and it is essential that a victim is hospitalised if they are affected by the full symptoms of the syndrome. Treating the sting area immediately by using the application of vinegar is said to be highly recommended when a person has been stung by an Irukandji jellyfish as the vinegar will inhibit the nematocyst which means that the stinging cells will stop being fired which in turn will mean that the victim will not be stung any more than what they already have been.

When you find yourself in a swarm of Irukandji jellyfish it is important to try to remove yourself from the situation without being stung and to move as far away as possible from the bloom. It may feel like heaps of wasp stings at once if you find yourself in a swarm and the jellyfish begin to sting you before you are able to get away. If you have been stung by even just one of these jellyfish you must immediately make your way to the shore, get out of the water and treat the sting with vinegar. It is certainly imperative that you seek immediate medical treatment when you have been stung more than once by these jellyfish and if a victim is experiencing any form of respiratory or cardiac distress they must be treated by medical professionals immediately.

There is much more to learn about the Irukandji jellyfish, Jellyfish Stings and Jellyfish Sting 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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