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Governor Preecha Ruangjan at today's media briefing

Phuket Jellyfish Alert: 'No Cause For Panic'

Monday, November 3, 2008
PHUKET Governor Preecha Ruangjan said today that people throughout the region should be alerted to the dangers of box jellyfish.

He said it was not a cause for panic but welcomed distribution of knowledge about methods of treatment of box jellyfish stings.

He said that the chief of the museum and aquarium at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, Dr Somchai Bussarawit, should continue his research into the appearance of the deadly marine creature in a bay on Phuket's east coast.

Immature box jellyfish are being trapped by researchers from the centre virtually every time they check the stake traps at Nam Bor Bay, between Phuket City and Cape Panwa.

''Box jellyfish seem to be much more venomous than snakes,'' the governor told today's regular media briefing session, his first on Phuket.

Research needed to be done into the creature and local organisations informed of progress, he said.

Care needed to be taken not to cause unnecessary alarm among tourists, he said, because Phuket was a tourist province.

The governor's comments came after Dr Somchai briefed the meeting on the box jellyfish alert, which went to all health officials, hospitals, and media following the discovery of the creatures on Phuket.

The alert also followed the death of an 11-year-old Swedish girl off Koh Lanta in Krabi in April.

Since that fatality, the Southern Lanta Resort and Spa, closest to the spot where the girl died, has carried a sign on the beach warning swimmers of the possible danger they might face in entering the water.

Dr Somchai told the governor that this afternoon he had received from a teacher in the southern province of Satun, a fully-mature box jellyfish .

The teacher said the jellyfish was caught off the coast there in September. Many more box jellyfish had been seen or caught by local fishermen.

Fishermen left the dead jellyfish on a beach, where the teacher collected it to show to his pupils.

The single-tentacle jellyfish, preserved in formalin, was sent to the Phuket centre in a package on a bus from Satun, south of Krabi, on the border with Malaysia.

Dr Somchai said that box jellyfish were now a problem in Malaysia and the Philippines too, but the issue of their presence had not been brought to public attention.

Vinegar, the only known treatment for a box jellyfish sting, had been sent from Bangkok and was being distributed to resorts and other places frequented by swimmers.

Dr Somchai said the official records showed three deaths and nearly 600 injuries from jellyfish around the region since 2002, but he said other injuries probably went unreported.

A check on the official figures from the Department of Epidemiology showed that of the total of 587 jellyfish stings recorded in that period, 420 cases involved expats and 67 involved Thais.

The deaths and injuries were in four provinces: Trat, Surathani, Krabi and Prachuap Kiri Khan.

Essential Reading


Phuket Jellyfish Alert: Governor To Decide
Box Jellyfish continue to be taken from waters close to Phuket City, with distribution of the vinegar that can treat stings about to begin. The governor is to meet a leading marine centre researcher on Monday.
Phuket Jellyfish Alert: Governor To Decide

Phuket Box Jellyfish: Biologist Sounds Alert
Phuket's Marine Biological Centre has issued an alert over the presence of box jellyfish in waters off Krabi and Phuket. Scientists are continuing to try to define more clearly the dangers, without unnecessary alarm.
Phuket Box Jellyfish: Biologist Sounds Alert

Box Jellyfish Found Off Phuket: Death in Krabi
The death of a tourist off Krabi and the discovery of a non-fatal form of box jellyfish off Phuket bring a call for help - and a claim that many more deaths go unrecorded.
Box Jellyfish Found Off Phuket: Death in Krabi

Photo Album


Phuket Box Jellyfish: Are We In Danger?
Virtually every day now, numbers of box jellyfish are being found at a spot not far from Phuket City as marine biologists puzzle over their unexpected presence. Should we be alarmed?
Phuket Box Jellyfish: Are We In Danger?

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Box Jellyfish are NOT much more venomous than snakes... In fact in reality they are much LESS venomous than snakes are... Now I'm not saying they aren't dangerous( they are) but no need to overhype them with false information.. Some snakes have venom that is far more toxic and serious than the Box Jellyfish.

Posted by Mike on April 3, 2011 13:32

Editor Comment:

A tentacle from a boxie brings almost instant death. All snake bites take a little longer.


Monday April 22, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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