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AustraliaBox jellyfish stings man in Northern Territory, as scientist predicts big stinger season ahead

12:31  06 november  2018
12:31  06 november  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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The box jellyfish sting releases nematocysts along with the venom into the skin. The nematocysts are specialized cells in the jellyfish tentacles which contain venomous coiled threads. These coiled threads are discharged in self-defense causing agonizing pain to the victim.

The sting of the Portuguese Man o’ War is both serious and common with up to 10,000 stings per annum in Australia alone. The variety of box jellyfish known as the sea wasp or marine stinger is widely regarded as one of the most deadly creatures on earth.

Box jellyfish stings man in Northern Territory, as scientist predicts big stinger season ahead© ABC News CareFlight said it was the first box jellyfish sting they had been called out to this season.

The Northern Territory's rescue helicopter has been called to help a man stung by the world's most venomous animal for the first time this season.

The 23-year-old had been fishing with a group of friends from a small dinghy about 11:00am Saturday, when he stepped out to wade to shore and was stung by a box jellyfish.

He returned to the dinghy, which was near Channel Point, about 190 kilometres south-west of Darwin, and alerted his friends, who called emergency services before performing CPR.

The Top End Rescue Helicopter was sent to retrieve the man, CareFlight said, and he was transferred to the Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition about 12.30pm.

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Jellyfish / stinger net exclosure at Ellis Beach, Queensland, Australia. Although the box jellyfish has been In Australia (mainly northern ; however, box jellyfish can live in subtropical waters as far south as Sydney, with The stinging cells on a box jellyfish 's tentacles are not triggered by touch, but are

Learn all about box jellyfish , its physical features, diet, habitat, predators, sting , season , species, location. It is also known as sea wasp or stingers among the people but these names are also used for other species of jellyfish . It is mostly found around the beaches and are hard to spot.

"This is the first box jellyfish sting we've been called out to this season," CareFlight media spokesman David Wheeldon said.

"CareFlight typically does deal with a number of these stings per year and they certainly can be life threatening.

"Unfortunately we expect [this sting] probably wouldn't be the only one."

The man was discharged from hospital later that afternoon.

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Many animals use stingers to cause pain and inject their enemies with venom, but one species makes all the others look like irritants. However, the worst species seem to have clustered into a global hotspot. "There are many highly venomous species in North Africa and the Middle East," says Prendini.

Jellyfish stings in Australia can cause pain, paralysis and death for swimmers with exposed skin. Numerous venomous species of jellyfish occur in Australian waters, including the box jellyfish and Irukandji Jellyfish .

The Royal Darwin Hospital has been contacted to confirm if it was the first box jellyfish sting it has treated this season.

Box jellyfish stings man in Northern Territory, as scientist predicts big stinger season ahead© ABC News The 23-year-old was stung in water near Channel Point.

'Serious year' for jellyfish suspected

CSIRO jellyfish scientist Lisa-Ann Gershwin said she had a "gut feeling" the 2018/19 wet season may see an increase in jellyfish numbers, given low rates over previous years.

But she warned it was an educated guess, based on 25 years of research in the field, rather than a scientific certainty.

"I haven't actually heard details yet that give me any sort of clue as to how the season is going to be, in terms of the markers that we look for," Dr Gershwin said.

"Gut feeling … I think it might actually be a fairly serious year for jellyfish this year.

"The reason I say this is we've had a couple of mild years.

"And generally we see a fairly cyclical nature … so the fact we've had a couple of mild years makes me think 'Oh, I bet we're due'."

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Researchers investigated which commonly recommended first aid actions are the most effective for Physalia, man 'o war jellyfish , stings . They found the best first aid is to rinse with vinegar to remove any residual stingers or bits of tentacle on the skin and then immerse in 45°C hot water or apply a hot

In the northern Australia box jellyfish probably emerge in October with the arrival of winter season However in the northern Western Australia and northern Queensland the summer months ranging In the Kewarra Beach, the authorities have installed stinger nets in the coastal waters so that people

Dr Gershwin said it was the exact time of year scientists started to see more jellyfish, and they would be looking for a range of markers to help them predict how the jellyfish season would shape up.

They include weather trends, temperature trends, rainfall and the appearance of jellyfish at other locations.

Box jellyfish stings man in Northern Territory, as scientist predicts big stinger season ahead© ABC News The NT tends to report more stings from box jellyfish than Irukandji, a scientist says.

CPR critical following box jellyfish sting

The Northern Territory tends to observe more stings from box jellyfish, while the east and west coasts see more from Irukandji, Dr Gershwin said.

While "drop for drop" the venom from Irukandji is more toxic, she said they usually administered less, so first responders needed to work faster following a box jellyfish sting.

"The box jelly is the world's most venomous animal in terms of the typical time to death in a box jellyfish sting is about four minutes," she said.

"Many people die in two [minutes].

"If you're still alive after 10 minutes, you're going to stay alive, most probably."

According to Dr Gershwin, if someone is stung by a box jellyfish, first responders should administer CPR, before neutralising the sting with vinegar.

In the case of Irukandji, she said there was more time to react, but it was also more difficult to determine the cause.

"You get the sting and five to 40 minutes later, the person becomes quite unwell, but you might not realise it up front," she said.

Another key difference between the two "alarmingly toxic" stingers is that box jellyfish tend to be found in fairly coastal, shallow waters, while Irukandji are more often observed in open water, and around reefs and islands.

Dr Gershwin said the best way for people to protect themselves was to cover their skin while in the water.

"We don't have to get stung or stay out of the water. We can enjoy the water sensibly," she said.

"Between the flags is absolutely the safest place on the beach to swim."

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