Thursday, August 17, 2006


Well, while there is no obvious development in the advance of the jellyfish, the Health Ministry has issued guidelines in the event of a sting, which go further than those briefly given on 10 August.

The guidelines - in outline - are these:

1. Treat the affected area with alcohol.
2. Clean the wound with sea water, preferably at a high temperature.
3. Use an antiseptic and cotton wool with a 50% solution of ammonia or vinegar. Or - at least I think this is the case - use an anti-histamine or anti-inflammatory cream.
4. After a period of rest, apply heat and then a gel to reduce inflammation.

What not to do:

a. use fresh water.
b. use a compress.

Furthermore, advice is to take a 5% solution of acetic acid or vinegar to the beach, to never touch parts of jellyfish on the beach and to not scratch a wound.

So, there you have it. Basically, you should take the contents of a pharmacy, your drinks cabinet and a calor gas stove with you. It raises questions. It doesn’t say what alcohol should be used, presumably not a pint of Saint Mick though. How on earth are you meant to heat sea water? I’m baffled as to why one is advised to use a 50% solution but take a 5% solution with you.

Anyway, thanks to the “Bulletin” for presenting these guidelines today. On balance I think I shall continue just to take the anti-histamine with me.

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