Taitung doctor warns of poisonous jellyfish

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Taitung doctor warns of poisonous jellyfish

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1 Taitung doctor warns of poisonous jellyfish on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:36 pm

Joe

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A Taitung-based doctor on Saturday warned people not to touch unknown marine life after reported sightings of Portuguese man-of-war carcasses on rocks near Wushihbi Fishing Harbor (烏石鼻) and on the beach at Shanyuan Bay (杉原灣).

An inspection of the carcasses revealed that they were Portuguese man-of-wars — the third-most venomous jellyfish in the world, said Liao Yi-sheng (廖益聖), deputy superintendent of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taitung Hospital.

The jellyfish’s breeding season occurs in late spring or early summer every year, he said, adding that the large number of jellyfish sightings this month is unusual.

For this type of jellyfish, even the carcasses are venomous, Liao said, adding that cnidocytes might get stuck to the skin if stung.

Using bare hands to remove the cnidocytes would cause other body parts to also become infected with toxic proteins, Liao added.

The best method is to use clothing to remove the cnidocytes underwater to minimize the damage, Liao said, adding that people should seek medical help as soon as they discover that they have been stung.

“Do not use folk remedies such as applying urine to the wound, which might instead cause other infections or allergic reactions,” he said.

People with minor jellyfish stings experience redness, swelling and a stinging pain, while some might have an allergic reaction with extreme symptoms, Liao said.

Worse stings could cause difficulty breathing, muscle spasms or even shock, Liao said.

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