Tourist suf­fers irukandji sting

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A CANA­DIAN tourist suf­fered ex­treme pain when she was stung in the neck by a po­ten­tially deadly irukandji jel­ly­fish in the Whit­sun­days on Christ­mas Eve.

At 9.30am on Thurs­day last week, the Mackay-based RACQ CQ Res­cue he­li­copter crew flew to Hay­man Is­land to treat the 27-year-old woman be­fore trans­fer­ring her to Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal for fur­ther spe­cial­ist care.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for RACQ CQ Res­cue said the in­ci­dent was par­tic­u­larly nasty as the pa­tient had been stung in the neck area and she was in in­tense pain through­out the 35minute flight to Mackay.

A Queens­land Health rep­re­sen­ta­tive said the woman was dis­charged the fol­low­ing day, De­cem­ber 25.

Irukandji jel­ly­fish are known to hos­pi­talise up to 100 peo­ple an­nu­ally and are found along the Queens­land coast.

They can also cause fa­tal brain haem­or­rhages.

Aus­tralian Marine Stinger Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices di­rec­tor Dr Lisa-Ann Gersh­win said the re­gion was cur­rently in peak stinger sea­son.

Dr Gersh­win said in the event of a sting, the first pri­or­ity was call­ing for med­i­cal help and ap­ply­ing vine­gar.

“It’s really im­por­tant to vine­gar those as early as pos­si­ble be­cause, if it’s an irukandji, that will stop the sting­ing cells that haven’t in­jected their venom yet,” she said.

VERY VEN­OMOUS: Irukandji jel­ly­fish are known to hos­pi­talise up to 100 peo­ple an­nu­ally and are found along the Qld coast.

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