NEW PACIFIC JELLYFISH KILLS AMERICAN IN AUSTRALIA

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TOWNSVILLE, Australia (April 16, 2002 – Radio Australia)---A jellyfish responsible for the death of American tourist Robert King, 44, in northern Australia is a new species.

Marine researcher Dr. Jamie Seymour said tests have confirmed the fatal sting came from a jellyfish never before identified.

King died Friday in Townsville Hospital after being stung while swimming off Port Douglas last month. It's the second jellyfish related death in Queensland state this year.

Dr. Seymour said, "The types of stinging cells you get are pretty much unique to an individual jellyfish species. The problem we've got from this gentleman, who got stung at Opal Reef, was that we got some skin scrapings -- we got some stinging cells -- and they're stinging cells that I've never ever seen before.

"Given that I've got a pretty good handle on what box jellyfish were out there -- and we haven't seen those particular stinging cells before -- leads me to believe that what stung this gentleman was something we haven't seen before," Dr. Seymour said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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