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Two Teenagers Hospitalised After Irukandji Jellyfish Stings

Two teenagers have been airlifted from Queensland's Fraser Island suffering stings from the deadly Irukandji jellyfish.

The pair were swimming on the north-west side of the island on Friday afternoon when they were stung, LifeFlight said in a statement.

Four other people who were with the teenagers were also treated by paramedics at the scene for suspected stings for over an hour.

The two teenagers, one male and one female, were determined to need further medical treatment and were airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital, where they remain in a stable condition.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue said it was the second stinger incident in less than a day in the area, after a woman was earlier flown to hospital from Fraser Island suffering a severe suspected blue-bottle sting.

Image: Courtesy RACQ LifeFlight Rescue

It comes after three other people were airlifted from the island last week in separate marine sting incidents.

Irukandji jellyfish are found in tropical waters and measure only two centimetres in diameter, making them difficult for swimmers to notice in the water.

Symptoms can appear between five to 45 minutes after the initial sting and can include severe backache or headache; shooting pains in the muscles, chest and abdomen; nausea; anxiety; restlessness; vomiting; and breathing difficulties.

Fatalities are extremely rare, but they have been known to happen.

Image: AAP

According to the Queensland Ambulance Service website, people with suspected Irukandji stings should be carefully removed from the water. The sting area should be immediately doused with vinegar for at least 30 seconds, and should not be rubbed.

Emergency medical treatment should be sought immediately.

The spate of incidents has prompted a warning from Queensland Ambulance Service for beachgoers to be on blue-bottle watch over the summer.

"If you're stung by a non-tropical jellyfish, try and pick off the tentacles with a towel or other object, rinse the area with sea-water to remove invisible stinging cells, place the affected area in warm water, and if needed, apply ice packs if warm water doesn't work," QAS said.

"Avoid using vinegar if it's clearly a bluebottle sting as it can exacerbate the pain. If it's a severe case then call Triple Zero (000)."

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Featured Image: AAP

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au