Requests more research on Irukandji after the fourth hospitalization

A fourth child has been flown to Queensland hospital after being stung by a deadly jellyfish.

On Tuesday, the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight helicopter transported three young children to Hervey Bay Hospital after two separate reports of Irukandji jellyfish stings emerged.

A day later, the same crew was called to a boy in K’gari, Fraser Island, who suspected another Irukandji stitch to the thigh after swimming in a stream on the west side of the island.

The rescue helicopter was called around 2.30pm on Wednesday and the pilot was able to land the plane on the beach near the boy and other tourists.

He was then flown to Hervey Bay Hospital with his mother in stable condition.

Jamie Seymour, a professor at James Cook University, has worked with venomous and dangerous animals for over 20 years but says there is an urgent need for more research into the animals.

“We’ve had one confirmed death in Australia (from the jellyfish),” he told NCA NewsWire.

“They have the potential to cause a huge hyperextensive crisis and a huge drop in cardiovascular performance, but for the majority of patients it will be severe pain and a long hospital stay.”

He said investigations into the Irukandji are being conducted in Cairns, but governments should be stricter when it comes to swimming spots where the jellyfish are found.

“We urgently need more research on these animals.

“We have a crocodile advisory group, we have research and management teams on sharks, but nothing on jellyfish.

“Jellies hospitalized more people than sharks and crocodiles combined.”

The Irukandji are not unique to Queensland waters, but can be found in waters across Australia.

Mr Seymour said they were mainly on Fraser Island on the east coast and around the Cape down to Ningaloo on the west coast.

The irukandji is a type of miniature jellyfish whose sting is considered a “ten out of ten” on the pain scale.

Originally published as Calls for more research in Irukandji after fourth child was airlifted to hospital with stitches

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