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Impact of stinging jellyfish proliferations along south Italian coasts: human health hazards, treatment and social costs.

De Donno A, Idolo A, Bagordo F, Grassi T, Leomanni A, Serio F, Guido M, Canitano M, Zampardi S, Boero F, Piraino S - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: The main drugs used were corticosteroids, locally applied and systemic (46% and 43%, respectively), and with ammonia (74%) as the main non-pharmacological treatment.The estimated cost of jellyfish-related first-aid services along the Salento coastline over the 5-year period was approximately 400,000 Euros.Therefore the management of jellyfish outbreak phenomena need coordinated research efforts towards a better understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms, together with the adoption of effective prevention policy, mitigation strategies, and appropriate planning of health services at tourist hot spots.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, Lecce 73100, Italy. antonella.dedonno@unisalento.it.

ABSTRACT
Stinging jellyfish outbreaks represent a health hazard, causing contact dermatitis and systemic reactions. This study investigated the epidemiology, severity, and treatment protocols of jellyfish stings in a coastal area with high tourist development and frequent stinging jellyfish outbreaks of the central Mediterranean (Salento, Southern Italy), and the associated costs for the Italian National Health Service. In 2007-2011, 1,733 bathers (mostly children and females) sought medical assistance following jellyfish stings, the main cause of human pathologies due to contact with marine organisms. The majority of events were reported in the years 2007-2009, whereas the occurrence of cnidarian jellyfish outbreaks has been increasingly reported in the same area since summer 2010. Most symptoms were limited to local and cutaneous reactions; conversely, 8.7% of cases evoked complications, mainly due to allergic reactions. The main drugs used were corticosteroids, locally applied and systemic (46% and 43%, respectively), and with ammonia (74%) as the main non-pharmacological treatment. The estimated cost of jellyfish-related first-aid services along the Salento coastline over the 5-year period was approximately 400,000 Euros. Therefore the management of jellyfish outbreak phenomena need coordinated research efforts towards a better understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms, together with the adoption of effective prevention policy, mitigation strategies, and appropriate planning of health services at tourist hot spots.

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Health centres along the coast of the Salento peninsula (Italy). ( = Summer first aid centre,  = Hospital,  = emergency ambulance).
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ijerph-11-02488-f001: Health centres along the coast of the Salento peninsula (Italy). ( = Summer first aid centre, = Hospital, = emergency ambulance).

Mentions: The study was performed in collaboration with the Local Health Authority of Lecce (ASL/LE) and involved collection and analysis of data from patients registered yearly at medical first-aid stations due to jellyfish envenomation in summer (July and August) 2007–2011. The data included two emergency ambulances, four hospitals, and twenty-one summer first aid centres (set up by ASL/LE in the summer months and managed by the relevant Health Districts) along the coast of the Salento peninsula, Italy (Figure 1).


Impact of stinging jellyfish proliferations along south Italian coasts: human health hazards, treatment and social costs.

De Donno A, Idolo A, Bagordo F, Grassi T, Leomanni A, Serio F, Guido M, Canitano M, Zampardi S, Boero F, Piraino S - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Health centres along the coast of the Salento peninsula (Italy). ( = Summer first aid centre,  = Hospital,  = emergency ambulance).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3986988&req=5

ijerph-11-02488-f001: Health centres along the coast of the Salento peninsula (Italy). ( = Summer first aid centre, = Hospital, = emergency ambulance).
Mentions: The study was performed in collaboration with the Local Health Authority of Lecce (ASL/LE) and involved collection and analysis of data from patients registered yearly at medical first-aid stations due to jellyfish envenomation in summer (July and August) 2007–2011. The data included two emergency ambulances, four hospitals, and twenty-one summer first aid centres (set up by ASL/LE in the summer months and managed by the relevant Health Districts) along the coast of the Salento peninsula, Italy (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: The main drugs used were corticosteroids, locally applied and systemic (46% and 43%, respectively), and with ammonia (74%) as the main non-pharmacological treatment.The estimated cost of jellyfish-related first-aid services along the Salento coastline over the 5-year period was approximately 400,000 Euros.Therefore the management of jellyfish outbreak phenomena need coordinated research efforts towards a better understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms, together with the adoption of effective prevention policy, mitigation strategies, and appropriate planning of health services at tourist hot spots.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, Lecce 73100, Italy. antonella.dedonno@unisalento.it.

ABSTRACT
Stinging jellyfish outbreaks represent a health hazard, causing contact dermatitis and systemic reactions. This study investigated the epidemiology, severity, and treatment protocols of jellyfish stings in a coastal area with high tourist development and frequent stinging jellyfish outbreaks of the central Mediterranean (Salento, Southern Italy), and the associated costs for the Italian National Health Service. In 2007-2011, 1,733 bathers (mostly children and females) sought medical assistance following jellyfish stings, the main cause of human pathologies due to contact with marine organisms. The majority of events were reported in the years 2007-2009, whereas the occurrence of cnidarian jellyfish outbreaks has been increasingly reported in the same area since summer 2010. Most symptoms were limited to local and cutaneous reactions; conversely, 8.7% of cases evoked complications, mainly due to allergic reactions. The main drugs used were corticosteroids, locally applied and systemic (46% and 43%, respectively), and with ammonia (74%) as the main non-pharmacological treatment. The estimated cost of jellyfish-related first-aid services along the Salento coastline over the 5-year period was approximately 400,000 Euros. Therefore the management of jellyfish outbreak phenomena need coordinated research efforts towards a better understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms, together with the adoption of effective prevention policy, mitigation strategies, and appropriate planning of health services at tourist hot spots.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus