Shire alert over dangerous jellyfish
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.