Reported knowledge, perceptions, and behavior of tourists and North Queensland residents at risk of contact with jellyfish that cause the "Irukandji syndrome"
Harrison, Simone L., Leggat, Peter A., Fenner, Peter J., Durrheim, David N., and Swinbourne, Anne L. (2004) Reported knowledge, perceptions, and behavior of tourists and North Queensland residents at risk of contact with jellyfish that cause the "Irukandji syndrome". Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 15 (1). pp. 4-10.
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Objective. To determine the knowledge, beliefs, and behavior of local residents and visitors to North Queensland who may be at risk of contact with ‘‘Irukandji’’ jellyfish.
Methods. Structured interviews were conducted with 208 ferry passengers (92.9% response) traveling between Magnetic Island and Townsville (19 deg S).
Results. A total of 88.1% of the locals, 69.8% of the domestic tourists, and 34% of the international tourists knew what an Irukandji was (P < 0.001). Half of the international tourists, 20% of the domestic tourists, and 3.9% of the locals with this knowledge incorrectly assumed it was safe to swim inside stinger-resistant enclosures or were unsure (P < 0.001). Visitors to Magnetic Island who had swum or intended to swim in the sea (47%) knew less about Irukandji than other visitors (P = 0.05). Only 42.3% of the respondents realized that Irukandji posed a risk to swimmers on the outer reefs, and only 33.1% knew that Irukandji were also found outside North Queensland.
Conclusions. International tourists had little knowledge about Irukandji. Thus, accurate educational messages may need to be targeted at this group. Offshore water sport and reef tour operators should be encouraged to provide clients with protective clothing to minimize the risk of stings. A coordinated educational response across northern Australia may be necessary to inform the public about both the box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) and Irukandji.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||Irukandji syndrome, bites, stings, knowledge, attitudes, adverse effects, Queensland, tropics, water, jellyfish, carybdeid, protective swimwear|
|Date Deposited:||05 Sep 2007|
|FoR Codes:||17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 51%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 49%
|Citation Count from Web of Science||