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Three stinger rescues on Fraser Island prompts warning

TWO girls and a man were airlifted from Fraser Island after being hit by marine stingers over the last three days.  

Another man was also stung, but paramedics were able to treat the sting on the island.  

The youngest of those caught by the stingers was a four-year-old girl who was evacuated from Fraser Island on Friday.  
The sudden spate of marine stings has prompted ambulance officers to warn people to ensure they seek treatment if they are stung while swimming.  

The stings all occurred in the Wathumba Creek area at Platypus Bay.  

Fraser Island Ambulance Station officer-in-charge Phil Switzer said no one had actually seen the stingers despite the rash of bites.  

But, it is believed the jellyfish responsible for the stings is the morbakka.  

"We are basing the identification of the jelly fish on their clinical symptoms," Mr Switzer said.  

The morbakka is native to the Moreton Bay area and grows to about the size of an adult's hand and is clear in colour.  

The morbakka's sting produces symptoms similar to that of the deadly irukandji.  

These symptoms include severe lower back pain, cramps, nausea, difficultly breathing, profuse sweating and a feeling of impending doom.  

Mr Switzer said there was one major difference in the symptoms.  

"With irukandji it progresses to serious blood pressure problems," he said.  

"This one they don't get the serious blood pressure problems."  

Mr Switzer said two of the cases the symptoms were severe which is why they were swiftly airlifted from the island.  

He urged people to be aware while in the water.  

"If they get stung, look out for the symptoms," he said.  

"Treat the sting with vinegar."  

But, he said, most importantly, those concerned about a sting should call 000 immediately.  

Topics:  fraser island, jellyfish, stingers




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