Fa­tal jel­ly­fish spot­ted at pop­u­lar swim­ming cove

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Irukandji jel­ly­fish have re­turned to Pil­bara wa­ters, with three stings re­cently re­ported at pop­u­lar Dampier swim­ming spot Hear­son’s Cove.

A WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice spokesman said two young men and a lit­tle girl pre­sented at Nickol Bay Hos­pi­tal on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 6 with marine stings, di­ag­nosed as irukandji stings.

“They were treated and ob­served and dis­charged from the emer­gency depart­ment,” he said.

“None of them re­quired hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion, which is not un­com­mon with irukandji.

"They’d all been swim­ming in the same area.”

The re­ports prompted the City of Kar­ratha to post a pub­lic warn­ing on Face­book ad- vis­ing peo­ple to avoid the cove that day.

Irukandji stings are lifethreat­en­ing and bring on symp­toms in­clud­ing back pain, nau­sea and vom­it­ing.

Aus­tralian Marine Stinger Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices di­rec­tor Lisa-Ann Gersh­win said the in­ci­dence of irukandji in the Pil­bara should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“There’s def­i­nitely a fairly long his­tory of irukandji in that area,” she said.

“Though they don’t tend to be quite as com­mon there as they are in Broome or Cairns, they are reg­u­lar and we get them ev­ery year.”

She rec­om­mended wear­ing pro­tec­tive full-body swim­suits to pre­vent stings, ap­ply­ing vine­gar to neu­tralise them, and seek­ing med­i­cal help for symp­toms.

An Irukandji Jel­ly­fish, the sting of which can be deadly.

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