Sunday 19 July 2020

Girl stung by Box Jellyfish off the coast of Sentosa Island, Singapore.

A girl has been stung by a Box Jellyfish while bathing on Tanjong Beach on Sentosa Island, Singapore, on Friday 17 July 2020. She was taken home immediately by her mother, and the stings treated with vinegar, which is effective against Box Jellyfish stings. Help was not sought from beach patrol officers in the area, who carry vinegar in case of such incidents, and the girl is thought to be recovering from what would have been a painful experience. Local authorities are warning people to be aware of the dangers of Box Jellyfish when bathing, as their stings are extremely painful and can be deadly.

A Box Jellyfish off the coast of Sentosa Island, Singapore, on 17 July 2020, and the injury it caused to a young girl who encountered it. Carolyn David/Marine Stewards Singapore/Facebook.

Most Box Jellyfish encountered in Southeast Asia belong to the species Chironex flecker, sometimes known as the Sea Wasp, which is endemic to shallow coastal waters and which has a particularly potent sting, with an adult of the species producing enough venom to kill around adult Humans, which makes them a common cause of fatalities from Southeast Asia to Australia. Box Jellyfish are particularly dangerous as they do not simply drift passively as other Jellyfish do, but posses well developed eyes, muscular and nervous systems, allowing them to actively hunt small prey, and sometimes (probably inadvertently) attack Humans.

However, members of the genus Morbakka, previously only known from Japan and Queensland, have recently been discovered breeding in Mangrove Swamps around Balik Pulau, an island off the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia, with at least one serious stinging incident, a twelve-year-old girl who required four days hospital treatment after being stung on 28 June this year.

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