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Child stabbed in chest by catfish stinger, flown to Florida hospital as a ‘trauma alert’

A child was hospitalized after being stabbed in the chest by a catfish’s stinger and experiencing difficulty breathing in Florida, according to fire officials. 

The child, whose name, age and gender were not released, was stabbed Monday in New Port Richey, about 38 miles northwest of Tampa, Pasco County Fire Rescue said in a tweet. NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa reported the child was a boy was under the age of 10 who was stabbed at a pond.

The stinger entered 1 to 1.5 inches into the chest cavity, causing the child to experience shortness of breath, fire officials said.

Authorities responded to the incident and listed the child as a trauma alert, according to the Pasco fire tweet. 

The child was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for treatment. While headed to the hospital with their mother, the child “experienced difficulty breathing,” officials said. 

No further details were released and the child’s current condition is unknown.

NBC News has reached out to fire officials for more details.

Catfish do not have conventional stingers but sting with their sharp and pointed pectoral and dorsal fins, according to OutdoorSkilled, a blog on outdoor activities. Younger catfish are considered more dangerous because their fins are sharper at a young age.

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