Lamma.com.hk

LAMMA-ZINE - CLASSIFIEDS - EVENTS - GALLERIES - LINKS - Subscribe - Donate - Advertise - Contact Us - Facebook

  WHAT'S NEW? Restaurant/Bar News ~ "UFOs vs. 2 Gigs" ~ Dora Tsang interview
  WHAT'S ON?    Multi-sport classes ~ Butterflies ~ Digging for Victory! ~ ARTISTICO
  LAMMA-ZINE:  Lamma Ferries App ~ Stumbling Randomly ~ Easter Crowds? ~ Föllakzoid  

It is currently Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:36 am

All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:16 am 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 9963
Location: Pak Kok Village
Snail vs French, garlic not included
by Florence

Following last Saturday's (Nov 15) events on the Power Station Beach as some of you may already be aware, I was bitten on the foot after my swim while walking in the sea in shallow water close to the rocks on the side of the power station. What I thought was two small holes turned out to be just one tiny little bloody one. I did not think much of it at first but within a minute or so, a strong pain started on my left foot. So I left the water, my foot was very painful and swollen and I could hardly walk. I decided to sit, stay calm and observe. I told a friend, Gill who was playing with her dog Sam, that something bit me when coming out of the water and that it was rather painful. No watch or phone!

After 10 minutes, the pain disappeared, replaced by a total loss of sensation in my left foot. I started to head home when I suddenly felt very dizzy and weak with the feeling that some toxic substance was spreading in my system. I sat down on the floor and called Gill for help, informing her that I was not feeling well.

Gill thought help from anyone around with a phone but no one had one until another friend, Sandrine, arrived with her dogs, Belle and Max. Within a couple of minutes, feeling of numbness and tingling occurred on both sides of my upper body on a symmetrical pattern, hands, arms, chest and legs and I felt totally paralysed and unable to walk or move. I started to be "scared to death" as I was thinking of a sea snake bite at first.

Gill and Sandrine called the Lamma Clinic straight away who arrived within 12-15 minutes, they gave me first aid and took me to the Clinic to call a hospital on Hong Kong side who quickly sent a helicopter to pick me up. Once at the hospital (Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital), they scanned/x-rayed me first to check my internal organs, took blood for investigation, gave an anti-tetanus injection and proceeded to another floor for examinations. Three or four times from the beginning of the incident I was totally paralysed with hard breathing. The doctors could not find any "snake" bite markings but only a tiny small red dot on my foot. A small swelling was found around that red dot but nothing else. I was kept under observation, my limbs were "paralysed" during 5 hours . After 5-6 hours, the sensation came back in my limbs quite rapidly and I felt good enough to go home. My feeling was that I had a "​massi​ve anaesthetic", no pain at all, just very tired on the next day.

At first, they thought it could be a stone fish or something similar. But the reactions I had did not match the expected side effects. When my boyfriend arrived and saw the red dot and my conditions, he mentioned to them that it could be a "cone snail" but they did not really think a "snail" could be that vicious and inflict such reactions in a person. It turned out to be one of the more than 500 types of cone snails found around the world who are extremely dangerous, even killers, and that most of us, especially kids, would pick up at the beach on holiday for "souvenirs".

Here are a couple of videos found on YouTube and an article which might give you a better insight of what I am talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfMY0fW8UwE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcBmMPJrrKk

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v429/n6994/full/429798a.html

So for a nation who regales on eating snails (I don't like them myself) this one almost got his revenge :)

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:42 am 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5044
Location: Tai Peng
There are a lot of sea urchins on the rocks near the barbecues at HSY, some gather them for eating. I stepped on one once, it was very painful for a few hours, but no real risk.
Soaked my foot in hot vinegar for a while to try to dissolve the venom.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:00 pm 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 9963
Location: Pak Kok Village
Sea urchins are one possibility, as it has not determined yet what stung Florence. Even the hospital wasn't sure, so they did not give any anti-venom. But the effects were very severe and she was worried about her heart or breathing becoming paralysed, like much of the rest of her body.

Anybody ever heard of "cone snails" on HK beaches?

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:29 pm
Posts: 4
Take care Florence, it looks like some neurotoxins got into your bloodstream: please observe your body for a while and rebuild your health! Good luck. Pascale


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:36 pm
Posts: 16
Wow Florence! Hope you are doing better now.
That sounds scary and good to know it can occur. I sometimes feel unaware of these tropical island dangers. Will watch out a bit better in the future.
Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Annie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:36 pm 
Offline
over 100 messages posted
over 100 messages posted

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:04 pm
Posts: 196
I'll bet the bank it was a cone shell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coninae

One of the most deadly toxins on the planet. Gill has given a textbook description of poisoning from the primitive neurotoxin in this creature.

The brown textile cone in the picture is known to be able to kill a man in 15minutes. He is waving his proboscis around to attract a fish nearby so he can kill it and eat it. The proboscis is as long as his own shell and contains a harpoon like structure to deliver the poison.
Attachment:
testile cone.jpg
testile cone.jpg [ 28.34 KiB | Viewed 1544 times ]


Most of them are very pretty. I know well what these things are but I picked up the black and white one in the picture just last week while snorkeling in Thailand. I thought it was dead and carried it in my hand while I swam around. Imagine my surprise 15 minutes after getting back to the boat when my friend says"hey its moving' and sure enough it was STILL ALIVE! Don't touch these things!
Attachment:
Conus_litteratus.jpg
Conus_litteratus.jpg [ 90.5 KiB | Viewed 1544 times ]


Who wants to know the simple (yet painful on its own) first aid that can save your life with these things?

There are definitely cone shells in HK. No way was this an urchin.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:13 pm 
Offline
over 100 messages posted
over 100 messages posted

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:04 pm
Posts: 196
Here is a better wikipedia entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conus

and here is a very informative webpage on conesnails with details of the venom and the harpoon.
http://www.theconesnail.com/explore-cone-snails/venom

gallery of coneshells
http://www.theconesnail.com/meet-the-snails/cone-snails

I have some small ones I found dead in the surfline on the beaches on lamma


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:54 pm 
Offline
over 200 messages posted
over 200 messages posted

Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 12:47 pm
Posts: 234
Best not to remove shells from reefs and beaches as marine life often use them as homes or serve other purposes even when dead. They all play a part in the ecosystem. Look but dont touch is the best policy when swimming, snorkelling or diving.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:40 pm 
Offline
over 100 messages posted
over 100 messages posted

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:04 pm
Posts: 196
Yes this is true!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:42 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5044
Location: Tai Peng
SSL956 wrote:
Best not to remove shells from reefs and beaches as marine life often use them as homes or serve other purposes even when dead. They all play a part in the ecosystem. Look but dont touch is the best policy when swimming, snorkelling or diving.


When LCSD staff clean HSY beach every morning, they rake up all the shells with the plastic and other crap and put them in the trash.
So you might as well souvenir them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:10 am
Posts: 10
HALLO!

Thanks a lot for your interesting posting and precious support. :D The Book "Hong Kong Animals" from Dennis S.Hill (pages 110-112) will give you an insight into what we have in Hong Kong and we have wonderful species!
I am perfectly fine now and ready to enjoy a peaceful week-end ! :D :D :D
Cheers!
Florence


Science 30 June 2000:
Vol. 288 no. 5475 p. 2279
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5475.2279d
NETWATCH
SITE VISIT: When Snails Attack
No mere garden grazers, the tropical marine snails called cone shells are hunters that launch harpoons tipped with a paralyzing poison at their prey and enemies. Long collected for their elaborately patterned shells, these mollusks have attracted a new set of fans among biochemists and molecular biologists, who are finding benign uses for cone shell venom. One toxic snail protein is being tested in clinical trials, for instance, as a stroke treatment and a nonaddictive alternative to morphine for relieving severe pain.

For a fascinating roundup of cone shell biochemistry, ecology, lore, and links, pay a visit to the Cone Shell and Conotoxins created 5 years ago by neurochemist Bruce Livett of the University of Melbourne in Australia. Researchers may want to seek out a growing bibliography of cone shell papers, pages offering molecular structures of snail toxins, or the site's discussion group. Also valuable is the “What's New” section, where Livett posts everything from abstracts and meeting notices to links to popular articles and online museum exhibits.

Cone shell poisonings are rare—only about 30 deaths are known—but the site offers plenty of info about this intriguing topic, which Livett says is “a painless death.” Don't miss the video clips of cone shells, including a sequence in which the snail's mouth opens like an umbrella to engulf a squirming fish. For a more sedate experience, browse photos of striking specimens.

grimwade.biochem.unimelb.edu.au/cone


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group