Irukandji syndrome: a widely misunderstood and poorly researched tropical marine envenoming

Carrette, Teresa J., Underwood, Avril H., and Seymour, Jamie E. (2012) Irukandji syndrome: a widely misunderstood and poorly researched tropical marine envenoming. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, 42 (4). pp. 214-223.

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Abstract

Irukandji syndrome is a poorly defined set of symptoms that occur after envenoming by certain species of jellyfish, primarily cubozoans or 'box jellyfish'. Envenomed victims can show symptoms ranging from headaches, severe pain, nausea and vomiting to pulmonary oedema, cardiac failure and severe hypertension resulting in death. Historically, this syndrome appears to have been misdiagnosed and reported cases are undoubtedly a significant underestimation of the prevalence of this syndrome. The variation in symptoms has resulted in a myriad of treatments though none has been established as definitive. Effective pain relief with opioids is the most immediate priority. Although the annual numbers of envenomations are generally low, the associated financial costs of this envenomation may be comparatively high, with suggestions that it could run to millions of dollars per season in northern Australia alone. The syndrome has been well documented from many areas along the east coast of northern Australia, leading to the belief that it is an Australian oddity. However, with an increase in medical knowledge and improved diagnosis of the condition, it appears that envenomations causing Irukandji syndrome are an increasing marine problem worldwide.

Item ID: 25480
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: marine animals, jellyfish, envenomation, clinical toxicology, toxins, first aid, pain, treatment, epidemiology, review article
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ISSN: 1833-3516
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 05:30
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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