Vol 72, No 2 (2021)
Case report
Published online: 2021-06-28

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First envenomation report of the Cnidarian Physalia physalis in Indonesia

Tri Maharani1, Widiastuti Widiastuti2
Pubmed: 34212350
IMH 2021;72(2):110-114.


Despite the high number of victims every year, Physalia physalis’s envenomations in Indonesia are scientifically unsounded. This annual event occurred mainly in Java’s southern beaches and the Eastern Bali Islands, which are the most tourist destinations. The lack of scientific reports can lead to unaware and uneducated beachgoers resulting in a high number of victims, which in turn may ruin the economic sectors. Thus, this study aimed to report P. physalis’s envenomation and its treatments in the southern beaches of the Special Region of Yogyakarta Province. It was based on the 15 beach lifeguards’ and the primary health care units’ reports in 2019–2020. The envenomation cases varied among beaches and years, whereas the highest number of cases were reported in the most popular beach (Parangtritis beach). The partial beach closing due to the pandemic COVID-19 caused the number of cases in 2020 was slightly lower than that in 2019. The envenomations’ general symptoms were oedema and local pain that were treated with 5% food vinegar and hot water, if available. The severe cases (dyspnoea, nausea, vomiting, and cephalgia) were only reported twice in 2019. They were hospitalised in primary health care units; however, many people still practise the traditional non-scientific treatments, particularly in a chaotic situation.

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