Finding Relief from Box Jellyfish Stings

Jan 20, 2016

Credit Robert Hartwick

Box jellyfish are responsible for more deaths each year than shark attacks.  But despite the danger, scientists and medical professionals still do not agree on the best way to treat and manage jellyfish stings.

Researchers at UH Mānoa have developed an array of experiments to allow scientists to safely test first-aid measures used for box jellyfish stings without using human subjects.  By creating an artificial skin with human cells, scientists were able to simulate a sting and test different scenarios.

Their research has dispelled common home remedies… like putting urine or ice on a sting.  It’s also created state-of-the-art sting technology for the military and possibly civilian use in the near future.  Dr. Angel Yanagihara is a researcher with UH’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center. 

Dr. Yanagihara recommends three items that were published in the study for jellyfish treatment:

1. Vinegar works as a rinse. 
2. Hot water works as a treatment to start to inactivate venom. 
3. But far better than #1 and #2 is a new UH developed technology StingNoMore Spray and Cream.

Yanagihara’s research was recently published in the science journal “Toxins”