Boy stung by Portuguese man o'war - in Cornwall!


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A schoolboy was stung by a Portuguese man o'war while playing on a beach in Penzance. And many more of the jellyfish-like creatures are washing up on the beaches of south-west England, Wales and Ireland.

Ten-year-old Dawud Lee found the pink and purple siphonophore washed up in the surf and picked it up with a stick. But it slipped off and landed on his foot, stinging him several times.

His mother Yasmin took him for treatment at the local hospital, taking the culprit in a jar with her.

Luckily, apart from a few welts on the skin and some swelling, Dawud was fine.

The powerful sting from the Portuguese man o’ war's blue-coloured tentacles — which may reach a length of 30' or more — is incredibly painful and in some causes can cause death through anaphylactic shock. It's responsible for around 10,000 stings to humans around Australia every summer.

It's most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans and in the northern Atlantic Gulf Stream, although it can be found anywhere in the open ocean.

Children are particularly attracted to them, as their bright colours and shape make them look a little like a balloon.

Parents are advised to keep their children away from them, as even those that have been washed up on the beaches are capable of delivering a very nasty sting.

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