Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Thousands Stung by Jellyfish on Beaches in Australia

A bluebottle jellyfish washed-up on Surfer's Paradise beach Life savers have closed beaches in Queensland with thousands of people stung
Cary Marshall | 08 January, 2019, 04:51

Vast numbers of bluebottle jellyfish have swarmed beaches in Queensland, Australia, stinging thousands of people and forcing the closure of swim spots.

The number of bluebottle stings recently has surprised authorities.

Despite that lifeguards closed beaches, Sturges warned that even those of the organisms that washed ashore nonetheless remain a serious danger.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-Authorities in Queensland, Australia, were forced to close beaches across the region over the weekend, amid what local officials said was a jellyfish "epidemic". And between December 1 and January 7, 22,282 people were stung across Queensland-compared to 6,831 during that same period the year prior. More than 13,000 stings were recorded in Queensland alone last week, with more than 2,500 people seeking treatment over the weekend, according to rescue organizations. "Please stay out of the water", read one of several warnings from Surf Life Saving.

The group's Twitter page revealed the most recent encounter occurred on Monday, when a 32-year-old woman was hospitalized for a severe sting. Stings can be painful but are typically not unsafe, though some people can be allergic.

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It is thought that the extreme number of stings over the weekend was due to strong onshore winds coming in from the north-east, bringing a large number of the creatures into contact with swimmers.

The doctors' group describes the symptoms of a sting as an "immediate sharp pain and acute inflammatory skin reaction". "The sting can also cause systemic signs such as nausea, vomiting and general feeling of malaise".

Bluebottle stings are painful but typically not life-threatening.

State-backed broadcaster ABC reported that the number of people taken to hospital with Irukandji stings in Queensland this season is already 20, double the normal yearly average.

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