Skin and Systemic Manifestations of Jellyfish Stings in Iraqi Fishermen K K Al-Rubiay 1, H A Al-Musaoi 2, L Alrubaiy 3, M G Al-Freje 2 1 - College of Medicine, Basra University and Department of Dermatology, Basra General Hospital, Iraq 2 - Department of Biology, College of Science, Basra University, Iraq 3 - Department of Medicine, Ysbyty Gwynedd NHS Trust, Bangor, UK
Libyan J Med 2009; 4(2):75-77 ICID: 881032
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.89
Abstract provided by Publisher
Background: Jellyfish stings are common worldwide with an estimated 150 million cases annually, and their stings cause a wide range of clinical manifestations from skin inflammation to cardiovascular and respiratory collapse. No studies on jellyfish stings have been carried out in Basra, Iraq. Objectives: To describe the immediate and delayed skin reactions to White Jellyfish (Rhizostoma sp.) stings and the types of local treatment used by fishermen. Methods and Materials: 150 fishermen were enrolled at three Marine stations in Basra, Iraq. Demographic data, types of skin reactions, systemic manifestations and kinds of treatments were collected. Results: Overall, 79% of fishermen in all three Marine stations gave a history of having been stung. The common sites of sings were the hands and arms followed by the legs. Most fishermen claimed that stings led to skin reactions within 5 minutes. The presenting complaints were itching, burning sensation, and erythematic wheals. A few days after the sting, new groups of painless and itchy erythematous monomorphic papular rashes developed at the site of the sting in 62% of cases as a delayed type of skin reaction that resolved spontaneously. The local remedies commonly used by the fishermen were seawater, tap water and ice. A few fishermen considered stings as insignificant and did not think there was a need to seek medical help. Conclusions: We conclude that jellyfish causes many stings among fishermen in the Basra region. Their stings lead to immediate and delayed skin reactions. Self-treatment by topical remedies is common.