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Jellyfish Stings

Jellyfish Stings Overview

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 the "family" are jellyfish, box jellyfish (sea wasps), Portuguese man-of-war, hydroids, 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).

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Jellyfish Stings »

With more than 10,000 species in the sea, jellyfish are responsible for the most common human envenomations.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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