As of the time of writing this, a new antidote has been found by the University of Sydney for the Australian box jellyfish, the world’s most dangerous creature.
The box jellyfish is nearly invisible in the water, and doesn’t hesitate when injecting venom into its victim, whether that be prey or an innocent swimmer. The venom can cause severe breathing problems and painful, red welts that look as if you’ve been struck with a whip. Their heart rate might go up and they may feel sick or even vomit. Victims may act out due to the pain, but that’s better than the potential cardiac arrest.
The University of Sydney’s antidote is a little finnicky at the moment. The antidote can stop necrosis, skin scarring, and pain entirely if applied within fifteen minutes of being stung. However, sometimes a jellyfish sting can go unnoticed for 30 minutes, which can be too late. Also, they are unsure as to whether or not this antidote will prevent or stop a heart attack; they need to do some more studying. They also do not know if the antidote will work on other jellyfish stings. According to them, they went straight for the biggest, meanest one first.
So, in the event that you or someone you know gets stung by a box jellyfish before this, here’s what you do. Call triple zero (000) immediately. The sooner they get professional help, the better. Douse the injury in vinegar, lots of it; this stops any nematocytes that haven’t from firing more venom. Sea water is your next best substitute. Once the injury has been thoroughly doused, carefully remove the tentacles that have been left behind. If the person is unconscious, you need to check for breathing and start CPR if necessary.
Jellyfish stings aren’t all that uncommon, so it’s good to know your basics. If possible, swim where other people are able to help if needed, especially a life guard. And hopefully a full antidote will soon be ready for public use.