By Phuping Sucharitakul
Herein, venomous jellyfish refer to the group of cubozoans, scyphozoans and blue bottle. Here is some advice if you get stung.
First, you need to identify the jellyfish that stung you if it’s possible. This can help you a lot when it comes to first aid. Moreover, the wound can give us a clue that who is the culprit. For instance, the whipped- like wound (Fig. 1) is caused by a multi tentacle box jellyfish and the bead or small lined wound (Fig. 2) may be caused by blue bottle.
The first thing that you must do is to get rid of the tentacles that might attach on your body. You can use a sea water to remove them but never use fresh water as it can trigger unfired nematocysts (the stinging cells). You can also use a card (ID card, credit card etc.) to help you remove the remaining tentacles. Swipe it in one direction only.
Different groups of jellyfish need different treatments. However, if you don’t know what to do, it is recommended that you pour a bottle of vinegar on the sting area since a sting from the box jellyfish, the most venomous one, has to be treated by vinegar. Estimate the affected area, if it’s large, a big bottle of vinegar is needed.
Figure 1. The whipped-like wound caused by box jellyfish.
Figure 2. The small lined wound caused by the blue bottle.