Thousands stung in Australian jellyfish 'invasion'

Thousands stung in Australian jellyfish 'invasion'

Thousands stung in Australian jellyfish 'invasion'

Despite Australia's total or partial beach closures, folks are still feeling the wrath of these bluebottles, the sting of which can lead to red welts on the skin, muscle cramps, elevated heart rates, and vomiting.

Conditions eased on Monday, but remnants of the bluebottle armada (the correct term for a bunch of bluebottles) still dot the beaches and more than 200 people were treated for stings, mostly at the Sunshine Coast.

More than 5000 people were stung by bluebottles on Queensland's Gold and Sunshine coasts over the weekend as weather drove a wall of jellyfish onto the shore.

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Surf Life Saving duty officer Jeremy Sturges described the barrage as an "epidemic".

"The numbers I have seen published are 25,000 to 45,000 per year for the whole of Australia", Dr Gershwin said.

The latest figure for the weekend is nearly double initial estimates released by Surf Life Saving Queensland and includes people treated by council lifeguards.

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"People have been hurt as they just walk along the shoreline,"Sturges said". Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a jellyfish expert from Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, said that such gathering of jellyfish in large is not quite unusual and mostly due to the winds. "Don't pick it up, don't walk on it or you will be stung". However, the general number of more serious injuries by jellyfish are also above the average levels, according to researchers. "Those stings are an indication that something is wrong with our oceans - and we're silly that we're not listening", said Gershwin.

While bluebottle stings are quite among beachgoers in Australia, the increase in the number of people being stung has gone up steadily in the past few days.

For some less common species, that's also true for any contact with humans. Stings can be painful but are typically not risky, though some people can be allergic. By 2017, there had only been two recorded fatalities in Queensland, according to the Department of Health there.

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