Irukandji Sydrome in the Torres Strait: A Series of 8 Cases

Lachlan McIver, Irene Tjhung, Shaun Parish, Ruth Derkenne, Alexander Kippin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To review the presentations of a series of patients with suspected Irukandji syndrome in the Torres Strait, where the syndrome has hitherto been unknown or undocumented, in order to identify at-risk groups and improve the management of this condition in the region. Methods: A mixed retrospective-prospective review of eight cases of patients with suspected Irukandji syndrome in the Torres Strait, with a focus on the differences between the clinical presentations and patient outcomes. Results: Irukandji syndrome is the most likely explanation, based on current knowledge, of this series of marine envenomation syndromes in the Torres Strait. The syndrome appears to be more common in the monsoon season and young, Torres Strait Islander males likely represent a high-risk group in the region. Conclusions: The Torres Strait can be added to the growing list of regions where Irukandji syndrome has been documented. The clinical picture, including time to onset of symptoms, constellation of symptoms and signs, analgesic requirement and time to recovery, can differ markedly between patients. There is a need for health promotion and education of health staff and the public regarding the risks, symptoms and signs of this condition. There is also a clear need for the use of case definitions and standardised management approaches for Irukandji syndrome, while the health community awaits the results of ongoing research into the pathophysiology and improved treatments for this interesting but dangerous tropical marine envenomation syndrome.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)338-342
    Number of pages5
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Irukandji syndrome
    • jellyfish
    • marine envenomation
    • Torres Strait Islands
    • toxidrome
    • tropical


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