Tips for Treating a Jellyfish Sting, Ministry of Health
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Tips for Treating a Jellyfish Sting

Public health
Publish Date:
26/06/2018 11:15

Every summer, jellyfish visit Israeli shores.

The Ministry of Health publishes the following tips for treating a jellyfish sting.

On hot summer days, and because of the rise in temperature of the Mediterranean Sea, jellyfish invade the beaches of our country.

Jellyfish are marine animals; anatomically, the animal has an umbrella-like dome and trailing tentacles. Throughout the tentacles, there are nematocysts – venom (neurotoxin) containing cells. Once prey is captured, the nematocysts release their venom to paralyze the victim. Although the venom can kill a small marine animal, human beings will only suffer from a rash, redness or stinging pain, in extreme cases raised welts, and muscle spasms. The severity depends on the jellyfish species.

If you decide to swim in the Mediterranean Sea during summertime, please realize that your skin may become irritated even if there was no direct contact with the jellyfish or jellyfish washed out to the shore (not in the water).

In case jellyfish stung you (which in most cases involves skin contact), do the following:

  • Remove all jellyfish parts from the skin with a stick or a piece of plastic, avoid rubbing the affected area to reduce the risk of the venom penetrating the skin.
  • Do NOT rinse the affected area with alcohol.
  • First rinse with sea water. Then rinse with tap water for a couple of minutes. Do not rub the affected area.
  • If symptoms deteriorate, especially in children but also in adults, beyond a local sting or redness (narrowing of the air passageways, difficulties breathing, weakness, throat swelling, the affected area turning blue, abnormal swelling – edema, a severe allergic reaction), go ASAP to the closest hospital or medical center for emergency treatment or call an Intensive Care Unit.
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