WA: Boy on holiday at Exmouth rushed to hospital with jellyfish sting

West Australian beachgoers have been warned to be alert for a potentially deadly jellyfish after a young boy was stung while swimming.

Eight-year-old Ethan was playing in the shallows at Bundegi Beach near Exmouth on Monday evening, when he felt the sting from the Irukandji.

“We got into the car … he had excruciating pain in his back and stomach, up into his chest as well,” his mother Jess told 6PR.

“As we got closer to our caravan, he said that he felt like he was going to die.”

A sense of dread and doom is often reported by those suffering from Irukandji stings

Ethan was rushed to Exmouth Hospital where he received treatment. He has since been discharged.

“We were probably at the hospital within an hour of him getting the sting,” Jess said.

“It was really distressing to see him so upset.”

Parks and Wildlife Service says people should be on the lookout for Irukandji jellyfish in the Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth Gulf following the incident.

Parks and Wildlife has warned beachgoers in the region to be alert for Irukandji.

“Visitors swimming, walking along the beach or fishing along Ningaloo Coast and Exmouth Gulf should be aware of two species of Irukandji,” said Parks and Wildlife in a post on their Facebook page.

The Keesingia gigas have elongated, cube-shaped bells and typically range between 20-40 cm in length, while the Malo bella are about the size of a fingernail and have an elongated tentacle trailing from each of the four corners.

“If you spot an Irukandji jellyfish, please do not touch it under any circumstances. Report sightings to Parks and Wildlife on 9947 8000.”

It follows a spate of Irukandji jellyfish attacks in Queensland.

Five children were stung in three different incidents in waters off K’gari, also known as Fraser Island, over the two weeks to January 8. While two people were stung swimming near Cairns on January 14.

No one died in any of these incidents, though all parties required hospitalisation.

Originally published as Boy stung by tiny, deadly jellyfish, prompting warning for beachgoers

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