A WOMAN has been stung by a stonefish while swimming at Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast.
Surf Life Saving Queensland confirmed lifeguards had removed a barb from the 35-year-old woman around midday on Friday.
She was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital in a stable condition.
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It’s the second sting in southeast Queensland today, the third at Tallebudgera Creek in just eight days.
A 27-year-old man also needed to be taken to hospital after being stung by a stonefish at Bulcock Beach at Caloundra on Friday morning.
An 11-year-old girl stepped on a dead stonefish at Tallebudgera Creek on Thursday, while a 12-year-old girl was stung in the same spot last week.
The children were treated by lifeguards who applied hot water to their injuries.
Surf Life Saving Services co-ordinator Nathan Fyfe has warned swimmers to take extra caution at the popular swimming spot.
The stonefish has 13 venomous spines along its back, making it the most venomous fish on the planet.
In rare cases, a stonefish sting can be fatal.
Its venom causes extremely severe pain and swelling and can kill human tissue, stop limbs from working properly and throw the human body into shock.
As its name suggests, the highly-camouflaged greenish-brown sea creature looks like a rock.
They grow up to 30 centimetres long and are found all around the Australian coastline, usually hiding among rocks on reefs, or buried in the mud or sand.
Swimmers are urged to wear thick-soled shoes and shuffle their feet when walking in the shallows.
What to do if you get hurt?
Alert lifeguards and/or call 000. Place the affected area in hot water (as hot as the rescuer can stand with their elbow) to relieve the pain and seek urgent medical attention.