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NIOF warns Hurghada beach-goers of venomous fishes

The National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) in Hurghada has warned of the threat of venomous fishes that hide among rocks and are difficult to see – particularly the stonefish and the red lionfish – due to the lack of medicine against their venom.

A professor of aquatic diseases at the institute, Nahla Hossam, has called for doctors to receive proper training on how to deal with cases of people that have been injured by these fishes.

She warned that the stonefish is amongst the most venomous fish in the world, armed with 13 deadly spines ready to deliver venom that can kill in 24 hours without treatment.

The lethal dose is only 18 mg, she added, warning that the fish is well camouflaged against the rocks, meaning that most people cannot see it and many doctors have not dealt with it.

Hossam urged divers and tourists to avoid touching any marine animal, stay area from rocky areas and only go down into sea water with proper footwear.

In the event one has been stung by a venomous fish, Hossam says that as much hot water as they can handle should be poured on the afflicted area for at least an an hour and a half alongside vinegar, before rushing to the nearest emergency department in any hospital to communicate with a specialist to identify the fish and the seriousness of the case.

The patient should be hospitalized for at least 48 hours, she stressed.

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