Woman, boy stung by Irukandji jellyfish

Two people have been stung by deadly Irukandji jellyfish at a beach in far north Queensland.

The pair had been swimming at Palm Cove, north of Cairns, on Sunday afternoon.

A primary-school-aged boy was the first to be injured with a suspected Irukandji sting to his back about 4.15pm.

A short time later, a woman in her 40s was stung on her legs.

Both were taken to Cairns Hospital in stable condition, Queensland Ambulance Service said.

The Irukandji is a small, highly venomous species of box jellyfish about two centimetres in diameter, making it difficult to notice in the water.

Symptoms of being stung include shooting pains in the muscles, chest and abdomen as well as nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties.