Volume s1-25, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


In tropical and semi-tropical waters, many swimmers have at one time or another come into rather disagreeable contact with jellyfish (Hydrozoa and Scyphozoa) and Portuguese men-of-war (Physalia). As a general rule, such contacts have led to painful local reactions but not to systemic reactions of any importance.

The following case demonstrates a rather unusual systemic reaction to the sting of a Portuguese man-of-war, of such severity as to actually endanger the patient's life.

The patient was a 23 year old sailor, who had previously been in good health. On 8 August 1943, while on liberty, he went swimming off of one of the beaches on the island of Oahu. About 0730 that day he was stung across the arms and thighs by what he and his companions identified as a Portuguese man-of-war. About 0900 he began to experience mild nausea and generalized muscular weakness.


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  • Received : 15 May 1945
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