KOTA KINABALU - A nine-year-old girl became the latest victim of a jellyfish sting at the popular Tanjung Aru beach here on Saturday (Jan 30), bringing the total reported cases to 22 so far this month.
Marshada Shirlin was heard screaming for help at about 10.30am after being stung on the right hand and leg by what is believed to be a poisonous type of box jellyfish, which was immediately removed by Department of Civil Defence lifeguards.
One of the lifeguards, Thomas Oman, said they treated Marshada with vinegar before the family took her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she was given outpatient treatment.
On Jan 20, the Sabah Fisheries Department sent a team of experts from the Likas Fisheries Centre to investigate reports of jellyfish sting incidents and found two species.
One of the species was identified as the Chironex jellyfish (Chorpsalmus quadrigatus), referred to locally as "obor-obor api", which are known to be highly venomous and are neurotoxic, cardiotoxic and dermatonecrotic.
The other species, locally known as "obor-obor pasir", is a black spotted jellyfish similar to the Catostylus townsendi species.
Stings from their tentacles can cause itchiness and/or allergic reactions upon contact, inflammation in the skin and swelling.
The jellyfish season is expected to persist throughout January to March this year due to the current El Nino season.