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Irukandji warning for Ningaloo Reef

An irukandji jellyfish
An irukandji jellyfish

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has urged people visiting Ningaloo Marine Park to be aware of the presence of irukandji jellyfish following the sighting of three of the animals in the offshore waters of Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf.

Commercial operators in particular should be aware of the dangers of irukandji and understand first aid procedures.

People are also reminded that wearing full body stinger suits made of nylon or lycra or other body coverings can reduce the likelihood of being stung. However, the faces, hands and feet may stil be at risk if they are not covered.

If people are stung by an irukandji, they should be aware that:

  • the animals are small, transparent and not often seen. The initial sting may be minor and go unnoticed as nothing more than a painful irritant with a rash akin to that of prickly heat;
  • if you have been in the sea and feel like you may have been stung, treat all unexpected pain with suspicion, no matter how slight. irukandji stings generally cause minor local redness and are not associated with welts.
  • generalised signs and symptoms relating to irukandji syndrome may not be immediate and generally appear between five to 45 minutes after the initial sting. Signs and symptoms can include:

·        severe generalised muscle pain

·        headache

·        nausea

·        vomiting

·        anxiety

·        restlessness

·        breathing difficulties

·        sweating

If you suspect someone has been stung:

·        pour vinegar onto the sting but do not rub and do not rinse with freshwater

·        treat using the principles of DRABC (danger, response, airways, breathing, circulation)

·        seek urgent medical assistance

Last modified on Thursday, 11 July 2013 18:16