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Island swim warning after jellyfish caught

AAP logoAAP 9/01/2017

Swimmers are being told to say out of waters off the western side of Fraser Island after the apparent capture of an Irukandji jellyfish.

Professor Jamie Seymour caught the jellyfish, which requires further testing to determine its species, on Friday night following a spate of suspected Irukandji stings.

Surf Life Saving Queensland on Monday upgraded its safety advice for Fraser Island, warning swimmers to take extra care and avoid the western side.

"We're urging people to be extra vigilant .. and stay out of the water entirely on that western side of the island while conditions are hot and humid, and even more so while there are northerly winds which often leads to an influx in marine stingers," chief operating officer George Hill said.

While drags for stingers on Saturday morning failed to capture any jellyfish, Mr Hill said the authority was working under the assumption the dangerous Irukandji was present.

There have been 10 suspected Irukandji stings in waters off Fraser Island since December 22, with the venomous jellyfish positively identified as being responsible for at least one of the incidents.

All incidents have occurred in calmer waters on the western side of the island.

The Irukandji, the world's smallest and most venomous box jellyfish, is usually found in waters north of Mackay, about 700km further up the coast.

But Prof Seymour believes the Irukandji is following warmer temperatures south and it's only a matter of time before they get to the southern part of Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Victims initially experience severe nausea, followed by multiple bouts of vomiting, pain that normally begins in the back and radiates up the neck to the chest and abdominal cavity, leg pain and cramping.

Anyone stung should immediately douse the area with vinegar and call triple zero, Mr Hill said.

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