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Swimmers told to avoid jellyfish after tragedy

By Zheng Jinran and Liu Ce (China Daily)

08:23, August 09, 2012

Woman who was stung died after serious allergic reaction

Ocean swimmers have been urged to avoid jellyfish following the death of a woman who was stung by one last month.

On July 26, the 47-year-old woman traveled to Beidaihe resort in North China's Hebei province to celebrate her daughter's graduation from a university. The next day, the woman and a friend were stung on the beach.

"She was fine just after being stung. Friends used white alum to treat her and then rushed her to a local hospital," Liaoshen Evening News quoted one of the woman's friends as saying. "But her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died in the hospital on July 28."

The newspaper did not give the woman's name.

The hospital confirmed that acute lung edema and serious allergic reaction caused her death.

An employee surnamed Sun from the Dongshan Hotel in Beidaihe, where the woman stayed, said the hotel would compensate the deceased's family and her friend, who was also stung. Sun said the compensation sum will be determined by a court.

"It's quite common to see jellyfish sting tourists, especially in July and August, which is the breeding season for the fish," said Wen Ming, an official from the local authority in charge of public beaches.

A total of 33 signs are erected on the public and private beaches in Beidaihe, warning people not to touch jellyfish.

"We also send people to hunt the jellyfish in the morning, because they appear near the beach when the weather is cool," Wen said.

Doctors warned people against touching jellyfish.

"If you are stung by jellyfish, do not rinse with fresh water. You can use alkaline lotion, such as seawater, alcohol and soapy water, to flush or apply to the wound," said Cheng Yanfeng, a dermatologist at Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University.

"If there is a severe allergic reaction, such as chest problems and dizziness, go to the hospital as soon as possible," he said.

"Besides jellyfish, people may also be bitten by sea anemone, but this is very rare," he said.

Jellyfish are usually seen along China's coastal waters, including the Yellow and Bohai seas as well as the northern part of the East China Sea.

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