The attack happened on Christmas Day while thousands of people were cooling off in the Parana River in Rosario, 300km (186 miles) north of Buenos Aires. It's normal for there to be an isolated bite or injury, but the magnitude in this case was great. Paramedics reported dozens of people with bites on their extremities. Some children have lost entire digits.
That's enough to send fear into anyone. I'll bet the local people will think twice before immersing themselves again. I remember a time in the early 70s, when my family was touring Australia. We stopped off at an isolated beach in the north of Queensland. I sat under tamarind trees in the heat of the day, hoping for a sea breeze to cool me. No such luck. Although we'd been warned about stingers, deadly jellyfish with trailing tendrils, I longed to immerse my body in the lapping water. Jellyfish stings in Australia can cause death, with there being several venomous species of jellyfish, such as the box jellyfish and Irukandji Jellyfish. Box jellyfish have caused more than 60 deaths in Australia in the past hundred years.
Temptation won. But I was quick. I ran into the shallows, bent so that the water covered me for a second, and then ran back to the scorching sand. In two seconds, the air temperature removed any benefit. I wonder if youngsters living beside the Argentine river will challenge themselves in this way.