Stinger in­flux sparks DPaW in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A spate of Irukandji syn­drome cases in Ex­mouth has prompted the Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife to in­ves­ti­gate an un­usu­ally high num­ber of dan­ger­ous jel­ly­fish in lo­cal wa­ters.

Six peo­ple were treated at Ex­mouth Hos­pi­tal for the po­ten­tially fa­tal Irukandji syn­drome early last week af­ter be­ing stung by jel­ly­fish while swim­ming at lo­cal beaches, prompt­ing the tem­po­rary clo­sure of Oys­ter Stacks Beach.

A Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife spokes­woman said the stings had oc­curred mainly in the north­ern part of Nin­ga­loo Ma­rine Park but there had also been sight­ings of larger species of jel­ly­fish ca­pa­ble of caus­ing Irukandji syn­drome as far south as Coral Bay and north to the Mu­iron Is­lands.

The spokes­woman said it was rare to find jel­ly­fish species which were ca­pa­ble of caus­ing the syn­drome, in­clud­ing the un­com­mon, larger jel­ly­fish keensin­gia gi­gas, as far south as Nin­ga­loo.

“Jel­ly­fish that cause Irukandji syn­drome are more com­monly found across the north of Aus­tralia but have been recorded along the Nin­ga­loo Coast pre­vi­ously in very small num­bers,” she said.

“This year they ap­pear to be in larger num­bers, and while this has hap­pened pre­vi­ously, it is an in­fre­quent and un­usual oc­cur­rence.”

She said there had been an in­creased num­ber of jel­ly­fish in gen­eral in the Ex­mouth area in re­cent months.

A WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice spokes­woman said Ex­mouth Hos­pi­tal treated an av­er­age of five cases of sus­pected Irukandji syn­drome a year but the num­ber var­ied de­pend­ing on a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors.

She said there had been no re­ported Irukandji syn­drome cases in other parts of the Pil­bara so far this year.

DPAW is­sued a warn­ing for Nin­ga­loo swim­mers to be care­ful of jel­ly­fish ca­pa­ble of caus­ing Irukandji syn­drome ear­lier this month.

Irukandji syn­drome symp­toms, which in­clude se­vere pain and high blood pres­sure, ap­pear about 30 min­utes af­ter a sting oc­curs.

Stings should be doused in vine­gar and vic­tims taken to hos­pi­tal im­me­di­ately.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.