Invasion of the jellyfish: 13,000 beach goers stung in just one week

A bluebottle jellyfish washed-up on Surfer's Paradise beach

Queensland lifeguards have described the situation as "epidemic" and warn people to refrain from even walking along the coastline, let alone going for a swim.

Beachgoers in Queensland, Australia were in for a shock after strong winds pushed enormous numbers of jellyfish ashore, stinging thousands and forcing the closure of numerous state's famous swim spots.

Unusually strong northeasterly swell conditions pushed the bluebottles onshore and they were clumped in their thousands along the shoreline.

According to the report, some 2630 people were stung across the weekend, with nearly 1000 hurt in a matter of hours on Sunday.

Several swimmers suffered anaphylactic shock and were attended to by paramedics.

She said "a really weird run" of strong winds and heat spells had brought bluebottle jellyfish and other species closer to shore.

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Surf Life Saving duty officer Jeremy Sturges said: "I have never seen anything like this-ever". The aforementioned expert notes that typically, just 25,000 to 45,000 people are stung over the course of an entire year in all of Australia.

He said that those stung should remove the stingers, take a very hot shower and to apply ice to their wounds. Side effects of a bluebottle sting include intense skin pain lasting from minutes to hours, nausea and vomiting.

Bluebottle jellyfish are around six inches long and their stings are painful but not life threatening, although they can cause problems for children, the elderly and those with allergies.

Surf Life Saving Queensland said a "whopping" 3,595 people were stung over the weekend by Portuguese man o' war jellyfish, also known as bluebottles due to their transparent blue appearance. The number of those cases was not recorded.

"Not everyone reacts the same way but there have been very serious reactions".



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