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Box jellyfish: Australian teenager dies a week after being stung

The teenager was swimming in Patterson Point, near Bamaga, on February 22 when he was stung by the creature, CNN affiliate 7News reported.

Local media reported that this was the first death from a box jellyfish sting in 15 years.

Queensland Police confirmed to CNN on Thursday that they were preparing a report for the coroner following the sudden death of the teenager, from Bamaga.

The boy was taken to hospital on February 22 after the incident and died on March 1, police said.

A spokesperson for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, an aviation medical service in Australia, told CNN in a statement that the crew stabilized the patient in Bamaga before transferring him to Townsville hospital on February 22.

Named after their body shape, box jellyfish have tentacles covered with small poison-laden darts called nematocysts.

There are around 50 species of box jellyfish, but only a few contain venom that can prove fatal to humans – including the Australian box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, which is considered the most poisonous marine animal. , according to the National Ocean Service.

The Australian variety has a body size of up to a foot in diameter and tentacles of up to 10 feet long.

Large jellyfish such as Chironex have caused more than 70 deaths in Australia, according to Queensland Health, which issued a warning following the incident.

“The recent Bamaga incident is a timely warning to take precautions when swimming in the sea in all northern waters,” said Marlow Coates, director of medical services at the northern hospital and health service. Torres and Cape, in a statement.

“We are seeing sightings of both box jellyfish and jellyfish causing Irukandji syndrome in our waters,” he said.

Coates said swimmers should wear protective clothing like lycra suits or wet suits, and stay out of the water if they don’t have protective gear.

Authorities added that a major injection of Chironex is “immediately and excruciatingly painful” and “should be regarded as life threatening.”


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