IRUKANDJI STELL STINGING
SWIMMERS are warned to look out for the potentially deadly Irukandji jelly fish following a sting in Whitsunday waters last week.
A 15-year-old girl was stung near Hamilton Island last Thursday and taken to the Mackay Base Hospital by RACQ Rescue Helicopter in severe pain.
The girl stayed overnight in hospital and was discharged the following day.
Director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, Dr Lisaann Gershwin said it was “atypical” to hear of someone being stung during the lower risk season.
“We’ve had stings around this time of year before so it’s not completely new but it’s definitely unusual,” she said.
Ms Gershwin said wearing protective gear in the water could help avoid a sting and she noted vinegar was useful to have on hand.
“An Irukandji sting in the early stages doesn’t feel like much at all but after about 20-30 minutes they become quite distressing and then you need a medical service,” she said.
“By covering the sting with vinegar in the early stages, it neutralises the stinging cells that haven’t injected yet so they can’t inject more venom.”
VERY VENOMOUS: Irukandji are known to hospitalise up to 100 people annually and are found along the coast.