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A jellyfish's tentacles are loaded with small bee-like stingers that contain a toxin used to stun small water prey. This is why within 4-24 hours after a human is exposed to the stinger of a jellyfish, the affected skin can become painful, red and swollen, and an itchy rash can appear.
With severe stings — when a lot of venom is injected into the skin or when a person is extremely allergic to the venom — weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache, muscle aches, spasms and difficulty breathing can result.
If severe symptoms occur, call your doctor or go directly to the emergency room.
If symptoms are mild, the following first aid advice may help:
Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you have any questions.
When you call the Poison Control Center, we will ask you a series of questions. Here's what we'll need to know so we can help.
Find treatment tips for poisoning events, clinical pathways, information about toxicology assessments, and more.