Shire alert over dan­ger­ous jel­ly­fish

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

The Shire of Ex­mouth is warn­ing beach­go­ers of the dan­gers of jel­ly­fish af­ter re­ports of a rare but po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous species washed up on lo­cal shores.

The jel­ly­fish is yet to be of­fi­cially iden­ti­fied but is be­lieved to be Keesin­gia gi­gas which has been re­ported to cause Irukandji syn- drome. Keesin­gia gi­gas tend to be much larger than other species of Irukandji and have a 20-40cm long, clear, cube-shaped bell with one short ten­ta­cle on each of the four cor­ners.

The Shire, how­ever, is cau­tion­ing peo­ple against touch­ing any species of jel­ly­fish.

Al­though there is very lit­tle known about the ef­fects of Keesin- gia gi­gas, the Shire ad­vises peo­ple be aware of the signs, symp­toms and treat­ment of Irukandji syn­drome.

Jel­ly­fish ex­pert, Lisa-Ann Gersh­win said ini­tially a sting from an Irukandji was very mi­nor and of­ten went un­no­ticed.

“About five to 45 min­utes later, you start to get re­ally, re­ally sick — de­bil­i­tat­ingly sick,” she said

“Within a cou­ple of min­utes of that, you start get­ting re­ally se­vere nau­sea and vom­it­ing.”

It can also in­clude (al­though is not lim­ited to) se­vere mus­cle pain, headache, anx­i­ety, rest­less­ness, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, sweat­ing and el­e­vated blood pres­sure.

If you sus­pect your­self or some­one else has Irukandji syn­drome Ms Gersh­win sug­gests ap­ply­ing a gen­er­ous amount of vine­gar to the area and seek­ing med­i­cal care.

Swim­mers can re­duce the risk of jel­ly­fish stings by cov­er­ing bare skin with stinger suits or rash shirts made of ny­lon and ly­cra, or wet­suits.

The Shire wants any­one who sus­pects they have seen a Keesin­gia gi­gas to re­port the sighting to Shire rangers on 0427 491 399.

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