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SIGHTINGS of deadly Irukandji jellyfish off Fraser Island have sparked a scientist’s warning the tiny killers are headed for the God Coast and could shut down the Queensland tourism industry.
DEADLY Irukandji jellyfish are headed for the Gold Coast and threaten to shut down tourism, a scientist has warned.
The capture of one of the tiny killers off the west coast of Fraser Island last weekend has sparked renewed fears the creature is moving south as sea temperatures rise.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) found the highly venomous jellyfish in a stinger drag and jellyfish toxicologist Professor Jamie Seymour confirmed it was an Irukandji.
The catch came after three women and a 12-year-old girl were hospitalised after being stung in the Fraser Island waters by Irukandji jellyfish.
When it reached those waters, he predicted it would force beach closures and cause a “collapse” in tourism, Nine News reported.
Professor Seymour, who has himself been stung more than 10 times by Irukandji, described the pain as a “10 out of 10” which lasts for between six and 12 hours.
“There’s usually severe vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps and about 10-15 per cent of patients end up with cardiac problems,” he said.
“Linked with that is this feeling of impending doom where everything is going to go wrong and there’s nothing you can do to fix it.”
Several victims have died from Irukandji stings which caused heart failure.
SLSQ has warned swimmers to “stay out of the water entirely” on the western side of Fraser Island.
A spate of Irukandji stings in the 2016 to early 2017 Christmas break caused alarm.
SLSQ advised that if a person was stung, triple-0 should be called immediately and the sting area should be doused with vinegar as soon as possible.
Visitors to Fraser Island should take a bottle of vinegar with them.
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