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Jellyfish Sting Symptoms

Jellyfish Sting Symptoms

For many of the 150 million victims that are stung by jellyfish annually, the symptoms are innocuous though painful. For others, a jellyfish sting can be deadly. Symptoms depend on the type of the jellyfish and the sensitivity of the victim. Here are a few examples of what occurs when stung by a jellyfish.

Basic Symptoms Most Jellyfish

Initial Symptoms: When a jellyfish stings, it injects nematocysts that embed in the skin and continue to fire toxins until they are inactivated. The sting victim will generally experience intense pain, itching, and a rash or raised welt in the area.

Progressive Symptoms: Further symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, numbness, and abdominal pain.

Severe Symptoms: Coma or death.

Box Jellyfish

An example of a jellyfish that is extremely harmful to humans is the box jellyfish. The sting of the box jellyfish results in 20-40 deaths annually in the Philippines alone. Native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific, the venom of this jellyfish is one of the most dangerous in the world and can cause death within minutes by attacking the heart, nervous system, and skin cells.



“NSF – Jellyfish Gone Wild.” – National Science Foundation – US National Science Foundation (NSF). N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.

“Box Jellyfish, Box Jellyfish Pictures, Box Jellyfish Facts – National Geographic.” Animals, Animal Pictures, Wild Animal Facts – National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.

“Jellyfish stings: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.

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