Jellyfish stings shock 26 across Mackay, Whitsundays

MORE people have been stung in the Mackay and Whitsundays region this year than any other coastal area according to the Queensland Ambulance Service.

A total of 26 people have been stung in Mackay and the Whitsundays since January this year, Mackay senior operations supervisor Nigel Jones said.

The most recent person to be stung was Scott MacGregor, who was stung while catching live bait with a cast net at the Proserpine River boat ramp on Conway Rd earlier this month.

He was stung on the hands, back and legs by a box jellyfish.

Mr Jones said marine stingers were common at this time of the year and it was very important to know what actions to take after being stung.

"We are still in the midst of the stinger season and it's important for people to be very aware of the dangers," he said.

"Jellyfish stings can cause sudden excruciating pain and an ambulance should be called and vinegar applied immediately.

"We treat a large number of beachgoers for marine stingers every year. Most patients describe a sting like a red hot wire mess thrown onto their skin, while others say it feels like being whipped by a stock whip on bare skin."

He advised swimmers to always stay between the red and yellow flags and inside the stinger-resistant enclosures.

"Wearing a stinger suit or wetsuit is also important for protection against Irukandji jellyfish, which are small enough to pass through stinger nets," Mr Jones said.

"If a sting occurs, leave the water, notify lifeguards and call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.

"Douse the affected area with vinegar."

Topics:  jellyfish mackay queensland ambulance service sting whitsundays

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