Big outbreak of purple jellyfish – What to do if stung

Big outbreak of purple jellyfish – What to do if stung

The Greek Biodiversity Observatory draws the attention of bathers to the purple jellyfish, stressing that when we see them, we do not enter the sea.

Purple jellyfish are considered among the most dangerous jellyfish species in the Mediterranean and their sting is painful due to the neurotoxin they contain.

Symptoms in case of contact:

  • Burning pain, often severe reddening of the skin, and in some cases the imprint of the jellyfish that stung you on part of your skin.
  • Motion sickness
  • Pressure drop
  • Tachycardia
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Spasm of the bronchi
  • Shortness of breath

In case of occurrence of systemic symptoms (rare) such as: hypotension, hoarseness of voice, inspiratory wheezing, generalized angioedema - extensive urticarial rash, disturbances in level of communication - consciousness, vomiting, IMMEDIATE transport of the patient to the hospital is imperative.

What to do if you are stung by a jellyfish:

  1. Remove any tentacles stuck to your body. Caution! not with bare hands, as this will lead to the tentacles sticking to the hands and transferring the irritation there.
  2. Flush the bite area with plenty of water seafood water. 
  3. Do not make use of: vinegar, fresh water, alcohol or ammonia, because this particular jellyfish is inactivated by an alkaline solution and not by an acid one.
  4. Do not wrap the bite site with bandages
  5. Apply ice or cold compresses to the bite site. This limits local effects from the skin. Use an ice pack (in an enclosure to avoid contact with fresh water).
  6. If available, apply a mixture of seawater and baking soda (in a 1:1 ratio) for two minutes. This will stop any additional venom secretion from the stinger cells left in the skin.
  7. If the pain persists, consult a doctor or pharmacist to supply you with some cortisone cream the antihistamine pill.
  8. Finally, if the symptoms are severe and especially if they do not subside after the application of local measures, a cortisone injection may be needed. In this case you must definitely go to the hospital or visit a Health Center.