KOTA KINABALU: The jellyfish bloom, which just started in Sabah, normally lasts for a few months up to May.
Sabah Fisheries director Azhar Kassim said with the jellyfish bloom just started, the public need to take precautions for at least several more months and be careful when going to the beach.
He said this is because some of these jellyfish might be venomous.
He said in Sabah, the more commonly seen ones are the box jellyfish, which causes painful stings in less severe cases.
However, multiple stings from these jellyfish can cause death if treated late, Azhar said.
He said for now, with Fisheries Department officials busy with the Red Tide bloom that is affecting shellfish in waters off Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran and Kuala Penyu, they have yet to properly identify the types of jellyfish that are present.
“There are several types that have been reported in previous jellyfish bloom in Sabah but the more dominant ones include the box jellyfish,” he said.
He said they will try to get to beaches with reports of these jellyfish as soon as possible to get a clearer picture of what are the species that have landed here for further actions.
He said in an incident of a jellyfish sting, the first few steps to take to prevent severe symptoms or even death is to get out of the water, pour vinegar on the affected area for at least 30 seconds, pull off any attached tentacles from skin using a cloth, don’t rub the area, and call for help.
“Remember, do not use water, sand or urine (as some believe urine helps to dilute the poison) to wash off the stings or wounds because that would only cause the tentacles to produce more poison into the skin and body,” he said.
On Jan 21, the City Hall issued an alert to immediately ban swimming at the two main beaches in the city - Tanjung Aru Beach 1 and Teluk Likas Public Park beach - after a jellyfish bloom was spotted in the areas.