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Expert: Treat stings with vinegar, not urine or water

GEORGE TOWN: Never use urine to ease a jellyfish sting.

The best first aid treatment is vinegar, said Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs) director Prof Datuk Dr Aileen Tan.

“Vinegar will stop any stingers still stuck on the victim’s body from firing more venom,” she said.

She also said not to wash the affected part with freshwater.

“Osmosis from the freshwater will cause the stingers to sink even deeper and shoot more venom.

“Stingers are microscopic. They are inside the nearly invisible tentacles of a jellyfish, which could still be stuck on a victim’s body.”

Dr Tan said now that two box jellyfish species are breeding in Penang, tourism players need to do more to ensure public safety.

She said medical practitioners must be alert to the possibility that victims may have had a brush with a box jellyfish and develop Irukandji Syndrome.

She said Cemacs, under Universiti Sains Malaysia, is planning a workshop on dealing with jellyfish on Dec 4 for anyone invol­ved in sea or beach activities in Penang.

The facilitators will include international experts attending the Harmful Jellyfish Sampling Protocol and Data Analy­sis In The Western Pacific workshop from Dec 5 to 6.

Visit for details.

Related story:

Scientists call for caution as deadly box jellyfish found off Penang’s coast