Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

AF­TER a stinger-free start to sum­mer the po­ten­tially deadly irukandji are mak­ing their pres­ence known.

The lat­est vic­tim was a 21year-old woman who was trans­ferred from Hamil­ton Is­land on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon she was in a sta­ble con­di­tion at the Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal and is the fifth vic­tim of irukandji to be treated this sea­son.

A 10-year-old boy who was air­lifted to Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal on Mon­day via the RACQ CQ he­li­copter was re­leased from hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day.

Last Satur­day a 21-year-old Proser­pine man was ad­mit­ted to Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing an irukandji sting.

Af­ter an overnight stay he was re­leased on Sun­day morn­ing.

Last Fri­day an­other two peo­ple were ad­mit­ted to the Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal via RACQ CQ Res­cue he­li­copter, also suf­fer­ing from the po­ten­tially deadly and painful irukandji stings.

The first was a 27-year-old man who was stung on the back while snorkelling off Hay­man Is­land and later that day a seven-year-old girl was air­lifted from White­haven Beach.

An RACQ CQ Res­cue spokes­woman said from Novem­ber to May was the high risk sea­son for irukandji, which were preva­lent in the wa­ters around the main­land, is­lands and even out on the reef.

Last Wed­nes­day a 12-yearold boy was at­tended to by Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice paramedics af­ter re­ceiv- ing a sus­pected irukandji sting.

The boy was swim­ming in wa­ters off Hamil­ton Is­land and 30 min­utes af­ter ex­it­ing the wa­ter he ex­hib­ited symp­toms sim­i­lar to that of an irukandji sting on the up­per left thigh.

He was taken in a sta­ble con­di­tion to Hamil­ton Is­land Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

Winds from the north can cause an in­crease in irukandji num­bers in the Whit­sun­days, though northerly winds haven’t been blow­ing re­cently.

PO­TEN­TIALLY DEADLY: The irukandji jel­ly­fish has been re­spon­si­ble for nu­mer­ous hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions this week.

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