On the west coast of Belgium, in De Panne and Nieuwpoort, there are more jellyfish than usual. Several people were stung and had to be treated by the lifeguards. The jellyfish now spotted on the west coast, is the so called 'compass jellyfish', the most common jellyfish in summer. It has a brown, compass-like pattern and long tentacles and is likely to cause severe skin irritation.
On the tentacles of a jellyfish venomonous cells are located. When being touched, jellyfish inject these cells containing venom into the victim. Depending on the type of jellyfish and the victim's sensitivity, the pain can be less or more severe. Usually being stung by jellyfish on our coast is not dangerous or mortal.
When you have been stung, carefully remove any parts of tentacles which may have been left on the skin. Do this by rinsing the wound with salt water (not fresh water). Avoid rubbing the wound! Rinsing with salt water or applying a cold compress may help to relieve the pain. In case of severe discomfort, painkillers may prove necessary.
Take care: even beached and dying jellyfish can still sting when touched!
Thanks to Francis Kerckhof, RBIN/OD Nature