A teenager in New South Wales, Australia, was hospitalized on Dec. 25 after ingesting a Portuguese man o’ war while celebrating Christmas on Bondi Beach.
Paramedics were called to help the boy at 1:30 p.m., after which he was hospitalized at St. Vincent’s Hospital, local authorities told 7News Australia.
“There is not a record of his condition or how he came to ingest the jellyfish,” NSW Ambulance said, according to the outlet.
According to the Post, authorities do not know how exactly the boy came to swallow the creature, although such creatures often show up near beaches in Australia at this time of the year.
The Portuguese, or Pacific man o’ war — also known as the bluebottle — is a jellyfish-resembling hydrozoan found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The bluebottle is not a single-creature kind of jellyfish.
Rather, it is comprised of four different component organisms or zooids working together in a symbiotic relationship, according to The Australian Museum.
Dactylozooids serve as the colony’s tentacles, gastrozooids serve as the digestive system, gonozooids serve as the reproductive system and pneumatophores support the entire structure, according to the Australian Museum.
In the summer and fall in Australia, these creatures frequent Australia’s eastern coasts. They can be seen floating near the nation’s southwestern beaches in winter.
Thousands of people get stung in encounters with bluebottles in Australia each year, according to WebMD.
Though one could suffer immense pain after a bluebottle stings them, they do not suffer substantial damage to their body.
However, children and adults could develop allergic reactions to the phenols in bluebottle venom.
Those stung by the creature are advised to get out of the water and rinse the area with seawater.
“You should then find a place where you can comfortably relax; you should also find someone to watch over you. Lastly, submerge the sting in hot water. It has been found that 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) water can take away the pain after ten minutes,” WebMD advised.
According to the site, bluebottle stings stop hurting after one or two hours, while inflammations and skin reactions will disappear in a few days.
Those stung by the creatures are advised not to treat the sting with vinegar or alcohol as it can exacerbate the pain.
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