Zinc can treat deadly jelllfish stings

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Zinc can treat deadly jelllfish stings

December 18, 2012 - 20:58

Rapid administration of zinc could be life saving in human sting victims.

But in mouse and human blood, the venom’s effects appeared to be blocked by zinc, the scientists report. So Dr. Yanagihara says she is advising a company that is seeking to develop antidotes using the compound zinc gluconate.

A human sized body needs a large dose of venom to be fatal, but the more tentacle that comes into contact with skin, the more deadly venom is injected. Heart failure in the victim rapidly follows a severe sting. Immediate action can save lives.


Vinegar flooded over wounds and tentacle fragments kills the stinging cells without releasing more venom.. Fragments should never be touched before the vinegar wash.. If the victim is resuscitated and rushed to a hospital, fast-acting antivenom will increase the chances of recovery without further complications.

This reaction to taste and feel of human skin also explains why nylon suits, panty hose, indeed any clothing cover, works as protection. Cloth does not taste like food, so the tentacles simply brush over it.

For over 60 years researchers have sought to understand the horrifying speed and potency of the venom of the Australian box jellyfish, arguably the most venomous animal in the world.

Dr. Angel Yanagihara, University of Hawaii at Manoa

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