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Australian teenager dies after sting from jellyfish - the first such case in 15 years

The Australian box jellyfish is among the world’s most venomous creatures.

File photo. The incident happened in the northern area of Cape York.
File photo. The incident happened in the northern area of Cape York.
Image: Shutterstock/William Healy Photography

AN AUSTRALIAN TEENAGER has died after a suspected box jellyfish sting, authorities said yesterday, in a rare case believed to be the country’s first such death in 15 years.

Health officials said the 17-year-old was stung while swimming at Bamaga, a remote community on the tip of Cape York in Australia’s far north, on 22 February.

He was airlifted to a hospital where he died on 1 March, according to police.

The Australian box jellyfish, or Chironex fleckeri, is among the world’s most venomous creatures.

It is found primarily in Australia’s tropical northern waters, where swimmers are warned to keep out of the ocean or wear a full-body protective swimsuit during the summer “stinger season”.

Marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin said it was Australia’s first recorded box jellyfish death since 2006.

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“Unfortunately, that (previous) fatality also occurred in Bamaga,” she told public broadcaster ABC.

Gershwin said deaths were avoidable but people living far from cities were most vulnerable.

© – AFP, 2021

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