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Australian teenager dies after being stung by jellyfish while swimming
A teenager has died off the coast of Queensland in what is believed to be Australias first fatality from a box jellyfish sting in 15 years.
Health officials said on Thursday that the suspected sting happened when the 17-year-old was swimming at the tip of Cape York, in the countrys far north, on February 22.
The boy was was airlifted to a hospital where he died a week later, on Monday, March 1, according to police.
The Australian box jellyfish, named the Chironex fleckeri, is notorious for being among the world’s most venomous creatures.
It can cause the heart muscle to clench, which is extremely dangerous, but many people who are stung do survive.
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 known as stinger suits.
Wearing them is particularly advised during the summer stinger season which can last from around October to May.Train delayed after cat curls up on roof and refuses to come down
Marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin said it was Australia’s first recorded box jellyfish death since 2006.
Unfortunately, that (previous) fatality also occurred in Bamaga, she told public broadcaster ABC.
She continued: As a country we need to do better.
Theres education programmes, theres stinger nets, theres protective clothing… Theres all these things that we use in the more populated areas of Queensland, in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay.
But up on the cape, sadly, we really dont. We dont have those programmes in place and I think we have absolutely failed our remote communities.
Gershwin said deaths were avoidable but people living far from cities were most vulnerable.
The death is the 79th box jellyfish fatality since Australia began keeping records in the late 1800s, reports say.
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