Jellyfish Stings Facebook Page
Jellyfish have a knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ruining your day with a nasty sting. For some the outcome can be highly traumatic or even tragic with lethal box jellyfish taking lives. Most are left with an itchy rash or burning skin and even a hospital visit and lasting scars.
In Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and other Indo-Pacific countries there are jellyfish that inflict all forms of harm across a range of remote and popular beach destinations. Few beaches have warning signs, helpful information, aid stations, trained locals and effective prevention nets.
Scientific circles suggest that jellyfish numbers are rising and as more people seek the sea for a swim or other water activity, stings will inevitably follow. In the Indo-Pacific region, this could mean more encounters with jellyfish including the potentially deadly box jellyfish.
Efforts are being made to minimise the risk though it's slow going with scant resources stretched. Data is vital in determining which jellyfish are stinging in what location while knowing victim numbers and sting symptoms. This all combines with ongoing scientific and medical research to create an accurate picture of the problem.
Facebook has a page called Jellyfish Stings Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines where victims or witnesses of a jellyfish sting in the region can post or message any details and receive proper, informed, helpful advice.
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Aside from assisting you with your sting and treatment, your input will assist others in the Facebook community seeking up-to-date information while anonymous details of the sting and location can be voluntarily forwarded to jellyfish experts who are actively working to reduce the risk and improve the situation.
In tropical northern Australia, the Marine Stinger Authority is a new service providing education and training on box jellyfish safety. Australia is well advanced in safety and awareness though despite all of the information, news and prevention/treatment systems and infrastructure there are still serious life-threatening stings and a place for this service.
In a few locations across Thailand, the authorities run first-aid training courses and there are some signs, aid stations and nets, though relatively very few. Thailand is better equipped than its neighbours in dealing with their box jellyfish problem, however there is a very long way to go before they reach Australia's level.
Elsewhere in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines there is virtually nothing in comparison. There have been some stop/start initiatives and some dedicated individuals and groups trying to make inroads, but governments have been reluctant to acknowledge the problem and co-ordinate and fund efforts.
Providing jellyfish sting data in these countries is integral in persuading officials to get serious and take the necessary steps in beach and sea-goer protection.
The Jellyfish Sting Facebook page is where you can report your sting, get advice and help reduce the risk.