Jellyfish are beautiful sea creatures that are found all over the world, from shallow waters to the deep sea. But these beautiful creatures cause many deaths every year.
Every year there are 150 million jellyfish stings worldwide. Sharks kill 8-10 people a year in the world, but jellyfish kill 50 people annually!
Jellyfish are armed with nematocysts that can pierce skin and inject venom. This can result in a range of effects from mild discomfort, to painful reactions, and even death.
If someone sustains a jellyfish sting, salt water should be poured over the affected area. Vinegar has also been proposed but is controversial. (The use of alcohol, ammonia, fresh water, or urine are old wives tales and can cause increased venom release!) Do NOT try to scrape away the tentacles, which can cause release of more venom and can be fatal.
Hydrocortisone cream applied to the area can be helpful, and taking antihistamines (Benadryl) can help. Applying heat to the area can be beneficial. If the person who is stung has shortness of breath then call 911.