Irukandji jellyfish are in our waters.
Irukandji jellyfish are in our waters. Contributed

Look out: Influx of serious marine stingers on beaches

RACQ CareFlight Rescue is warning Queensland beach goers to be prepared ahead of the usual influx of marine stingers at this time of the year.

Rescue helicopters from Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast airlifted seven people from Fraser Island in nine days last year after suspected irukandji jellyfish stings.

CareFlight doctor Todd Fraser said on Wednesday (Jan 01) the patients, who ranged in age from five to 40 years old, were all stung late in the day on the western side of the island.

"Irukandji are one of the more serious stingers we can encounter," he said.

"They have a very minor sting initially, but that is followed by severe generalised pain, headache, vomiting, sweating, muscle weakness, shortness of breath and cramping.

"In some people the venom can cause very high blood pressure and a life-threatening reaction.

"If someone is suffering a suspected irukandji sting it is important to remove any visible tentacles before they cause further envenomation, but this should be done carefully.

"Douse the area with vinegar, reassure the patient and phone 000."

He said other common marine stings suffered in the waters off south-east Queensland are from non-lethal jellyfish and blue-bottles.


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