The recent epidemic of suspected irukandji jellyfish stings around Fraser Island continues, with a snorkeller in hospital becoming the ninth alleged case in just over a week.
The 19-year-old man was stung on the lip while swimming in Coongul Creek on the western side of the island about 11am on Tuesday. He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being flown to Bundaberg Hospital.
The man reportedly didn’t see the jellyfish in question, but reported severe nausea and vomiting – both telltale signs of an irukandji sting. The extremely small size of the lethal box jellyfish means that it often isn’t spotted before or after a sting.
The irukandji jellyfish has been identified as responsible for one of the recent stings, and it is highly suspected that it is the culprit for the other eight. Paramedic Phillip Switzer told the AAP that there’s no evidence either way.
We have no evidence to say they are or are not Irukandji. There are certainly jellyfish floating but no one’s actually caught one so we can’t disprove that they’re not Irukandji or a jellyfish in the same family that produced the symptoms of an Irukandji jellyfish.
Swimmers are being warned that the jellyfish – which is normally found in far northern Queensland waters, is moving southward, and may be found on the Sunshine Coast within two decades.
Swim safe, folks.
Photo: Getty Images.