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Australian teen dies in tragic poisonous jellyfish attack

Cape York, Australia - A teenager died in northern Australia after being stung by a highly poisonous box jellyfish.

Box jellyfish are transparent and have a box-shaped bell with four corners.
Box jellyfish are transparent and have a box-shaped bell with four corners.  © IMAGO / VWPics

The 17-year-old was hit by the tentacles of a box jellyfish on February 22 while swimming at Patterson Point in Cape York. He has now died of complications of the sting, 9News reported.

It is believed to be the first time in 15 years that a person has been killed by a box jellyfish sting in Australia. This species is the world's most venomous jellyfish.

"We are seeing sightings of both box jellyfish and jellyfish that cause Irukandji syndrome in our waters," authorities warned. Irukandji syndrome is caused by jellyfish venom and can result in severe pain, nausea, and pulmonary edema.

"If you don't have a protective suit and you know there could be stingers or jellyfish in the water, just don't go in," they said.

The jellyfish species, scientifically known as Chironex fleckeri, is extremely dangerous. The cnidarians are transparent with a box-shaped bell. They pose a great threat to swimmers on the coast of North Queensland, especially in the warmer months. Their sting immediately causes excruciating pain.

According to estimates, a total of about 70 people have died in Australia so far due to contact with large box jellyfish. A sting should not be treated with water under any circumstances, but rather with vinegar, health authorities said.

Cover photo: IMAGO / VWPics

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