RESEARCHERS have found a box jellyfish in the sea off Koh Mak in the Gulf of Thailand but cleared Nai Harn beach on Phuket of the presence of the deadly creatures.
A nine-year-old Swedish tourist, Ida Rosenberg, was fortunate to be treated immediately with vinegar and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation after being stung earlier this month while swimming on a beach at Koh Mak, which is close to Koh Chang, Thailand's second-largest island.
On Friday four-year-old French visitor Aymeric Roussel was stung at Nai Harn beach on Phuket, probably by a jellyfish known as Cephea cephea, and treated on the beach and later at a Phuket City Hospital.
A research team sampled the water off Nai Harn using a long net and captured only the cephea cephea, a familiar visitor to the beach in past high seasons.
The jellyfish stings but is not dangerously toxic.
A similar sampling off Koh Mak, however, produced two types of box jellyfish, including a juvenile Chironex.
This box jellyfish is regarded as the most toxic creature on earth.
A Swedish woman who died quickly on a beach on the Malaysian island of Langkawi earlier this year is believed to have been the victim of Chironex.
Phuket Marine Biology Centre is regarded as the South East Asia region's prime authority on jellyfish and has helped the Public Health Department to prepare for the possible spread of Chironex in the region.
Confirmation of the most deadly species of box jellyfish being in Thai waters means swimmers need to be alert for what's in the water.
Beach vendors and coastal resorts should ensure that vinegar, the only known treatment for a box jellyfish strike, is at hand at all times.
Another young girl, also from Sweden, was killed by a box jellyfish sting on Koh Lanta, off Krabi, in 2008.
Since then, the Phuket Marine Biology Centre and Public Health authorities have had the assistance of training from experts in Australia and become prepared for the possibility of Chironex continuing to spread.
A four year old French boy was recovering in hospital after a drama at the southern Phuket beach of Nai Harn. Public Health officials are determining the cause of his pain.
Have there been unreported deaths from box jellyfish in Thailand? The mother of a Swedish girl who narrowly survived an attack says she was told there have been unreported deaths.
A Phuket seminar on jellyfish is told that transparency is the wisest course. Warning signs on Koh Lanta in Krabi were painted over after the death of a young tourist there.
A box jellyfish is being blamed for the death of a Swedish tourist on Langkawi. Concern about the possible presence of marine stingers is being reignited by media reports.
Last year's jellyfish alarms did not produce reports of large numbers of serious stings. But if jellyfish do arrive on Phuket, what precautions should be taken?
Phuket's jellyfish are likely to return from November. If we are going to share Thailand's beaches, learning about these other 'tourists' is a scientific and medical priority.