KOTA KINABALU: The jellyfish invasion at the popular Tanjung Aru beach is showing no sign of abating.
A nine-year-old girl became the latest victim to be stung by jellyfish, bringing the total known cases to 22 this month.
Marshada Shirlin was stung on her right hand and leg by what is believed to be the more poisonous box jellyfish.
She was immediately taken out of the water by lifeguards from the Department of Civil Defence who were alerted by the young girl’s screams for help at about 10.30am yesterday.
One of the lifeguards, Thomas Oman, said after treating her with vinegar, her family then took her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was given outpatient treatment.
Sabah Fisheries Department has discovered two species so far after sending a team of experts from the Likas Fisheries Centre on Jan 20 to investigate reports.
One of the species was identified as the chironomid box jellyfish (chorpsalmus quadrigatus) locally known as obor-obor api, which is highly venomous, neurotoxic and cardiotoxic.
The other is locally known as obor-obor pasir, a black spotted jellyfish similar to the Catostylus townsendi species.
Stings from their tentacles can cause itch and/or allergic reactions upon contact with skin, leading to inflammation and swelling on the affected part of the victim.
The jellyfish season is expected to persist at least until March due to the El Nino.
It is believed that many people could have been stung but did not go to the authorities after self-treatment by applying vinegar or lime on the affected part.