Facts on Jellyfish Stings
- Jellyfish are free-swimming, non-aggressive, gelatinous marine animals surrounded by tentacles.
- These tentacles are covered with sacs (nematocysts) that are filled with poison (venom) that can cause a painful to sometimes life-threatening sting.
- The marine animals included in this "family" are:
- box jellyfish (sea wasps),
- Portuguese man-of-war,
- anemones, and
- fire coral.
- Jellyfish are found throughout the world. But, the most deadly are found in the Indo-Pacific and Australian waters.
- Jellyfish are usually found near the surface of the water during times of diminished light, floating in the water column, or after washing up on the beach.
- Jellyfish stings are generally accidental - from swimming or wading into a jellyfish or carelessly handling them.
- Some types of jellyfish have reproductive jelly gatherings 8 to 10 days after a full moon, thus there is an increase in the number of jellyfish found at that time.
- There are over 200 types of jellyfish (that have been documented).
What Are Jellyfish Sting Symptoms?
- Symptoms include an intense, stinging pain, itching, rash, and raised welts.
- The progressive effects of a jellyfish sting may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lymph node swelling, abdominal pain, numbness/tingling, and muscle spasms.
- Severe reactions can cause difficulty breathing, coma, and death.
- A sting from a box jellyfish or other venomous types of jellyfish can cause death in minutes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2016
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