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Eve O'Connell2 years ago

Know what to look out for in the water this summer

The Irukandji jellyfish (also known as the Portuguese Man of War), is something to look out for this summer in Cairns. For all the facts on this elusive jellyfish, read on and stay safe in the water!

The Irukandji is believed to be the most venomous creature in the world.

Irukandji

And if that’s not terrifying enough, this jellyfish only measures up to 2.5cm, making it extremely difficult to spot in open water. Although deadly, Irukandji are very fragile—you wont see them in standard aquariums, as the slightest impact against the glass would kill them.


You’ll mostly find them in Northern Queensland

jellyfish-nets

The Irukandji gets its name from the Aboriginal tribe that inhabited North Queensland’s Palm Cove region, where Irukandji syndrome (produced by the Irukandji’s poison) occurs most often.


Getting treated for an Irukandji sting

jellyfish-sting

Unlike a bluebottle, you can’t rely on vinegar or a warm shower to ease the sting from an Irukandji. If stung by an Irukandji jellyfish, your best bet is to head straight to the emergency room. Sting victims usually require painkillers and sometimes intravenous therapy, depending on the severity of the sting.


What is Irukandji syndrome?

irukandji

The Irukandji’s sting causes symptoms collectively known as “Irukandji syndrome”. Initially, the sting feels quite mild, but can be followed by vomiting, profuse sweating, headache, agitation, rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure within minutes.


Doesn’t sound great, does it? So take precautionary measures.

wetsuit

If you’re travelling around the northern regions of Australia, note that this is Irukandji territory. Researchers have also stated that, due to global warming, Irukandji jellyfish may move south as the waters warm up. When swimming this summer, a lycra stinger suit will not only protect you from stingers, but from the sun as well. If you are going snorkelling or scuba diving, it is best to speak to a local expert about the water you’re swimming in.


If you have an unfortunate encounter with a jellyfish during your swimming adventure in Cairns, head to a local medical centre for treatment and advice. You can find a doctor in your area on LocalSearch.


Barrier Reef Medical Centre

Since 1985, the team at Barrier Reef Medical Centre has been providing Cairns locals with the medical attention they need. They provide:

  • General healthcare
  • Chronic disease management
  • Travel medicine, vaccinations & more

Covering everything from sports injuries and pre-employment medicals to family medicine and women’s health services, you’ll be looked after at Barrier Reef Medical Centre. You can find all their details on LocalSearch.


Cairns Central Medical

Conveniently located in Cairns Central Shopping Centre, the compassionate team at Cairns Central Medical can attend to your healthcare needs, 7 days a week. Their services include:

  • Bulk billing
  • Skin checks
  • Minor surgery & more

For all of your healthcare needs, including diabetes management and care, the friendly team at Cairns Central Medical have got you covered. Get a comprehensive list of their medical services on LocalSearch.


For more information on Australian stingers and biters to look out for, check out these articles:

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