Moon Jellyfish Stings | Emergency Medicine | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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April 2015

Moon Jellyfish Stings

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(4):454-456. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.4644

Envenomation by jellyfish is a common occurrence affecting millions of individuals yearly. Little literature exists on jellyfish stings caused by the “moon jellyfish,” Aurelia aurita. The main objective of the present report is to illustrate that A aurita stings are not as benign as once thought and to propose a treatment sequence for jellyfish stings to address the local cutaneous reactions that these stings can cause.

A healthy 25-year-old white man was stung on the right wrist and forearm while scuba diving at night off of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Images of the jellyfish were captured by an underwater camera and compared with reference images to confirm the species as A aurita, otherwise known as the moon jellyfish. Of note, these particular specimens were quite large compared with ones more frequently seen. Contact with the jellyfish led to intense stinging pain followed by subsequent pruritus and the formation of urticaria after a few minutes that persisted for several hours (Figure, A).