A Florida child was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed in the chest by a catfish on Monday, officials said.

On the way to the hospital with the mother, the child had difficulty breathing, prompting the mother to pull over on “US-19” for help, according to Pasco County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters placed the child on a trauma alert after assessing that the catfish’s barbs “inserted approximately 1-1.5 inches into the child’s chest.”

The child was airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

Corey Dierdorff, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County Fire and Rescue, told CNN it was not known if the catfish was poisonous. “That’s another reason why they ship this way,” he said.

A Florida child was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed in the chest by a catfish on Monday, officials said.

On the way to the hospital with the mother, the child had difficulty breathing, prompting the mother to pull over on “US-19” for help, according to Pasco County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters placed the child on a trauma alert after assessing that the catfish’s barbs “inserted approximately 1-1.5 inches into the child’s chest.”

The child was airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

“It’s not known if the catfish is poisonous, which is another reason they’re shipping this way,” said Corey Dierdorff, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County Fire and Rescue.

Deerdorf also noted that it was unclear how the child was stabbed by the catfish, calling the incident “weird.”

“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” he said. “You’ve heard of fishermen getting infected by being scratched by barbs or being hit in the back of the leg, but never of a fish piercing the chest.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently warned fishermen that hardhead and gulftopsall catfish are common in southwest Florida. These species tend to inhabit beaches, canals, mangroves, under jetties and other places with brackish water.

The Florida Department of Health says catfish carry poison in spines on their back and side fins, not in their “beards,” and their spines can cause swelling, numbness, fainting or a reduced heart rate.

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