Who doesn’t love going to the beach? Think about it: where else can you work on your tan in the warm sunshine, make sandcastles and play beach volleyball, and surf and splash in the waves, all in one place?
Yet the beach isn’t all fun and games; there are threats everywhere you turn. From sunburns to (rather unlikely, statistically speaking, but no less terrifying) shark attacks, going to the beach should never be taken lightly.
This is especially true in Florida, where something terrifying has been found lurking in the seawater. The worst part? You won’t see it coming until it’s too late…
These are microscopic jellyfish larvae, commonly known as “sea lice.”
There’s been an outbreak of them in Florida beaches, where they sting people in a manner similar to adult jellyfish. Yet you may not realize you’ve been stung until long after you get out of the water.
The itchy rash they leave behind is often called “sunbather’s eruption.” Other symptoms include blisters, fever, chills, nausea, and headaches.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent sea lice, including wearing as few clothes as possible in the ocean (no more than a swimsuit) and changing as soon as you leave the water to ensure the larvae don’t stay on your skin. There are also various creams and lotions available to fend off and treat the bites.
Some beaches have purple flags to warn swimmers of sea lice.
Here are the warning signs to let you know if you’ve been bitten by the lice…
It’s scary to think that something so painful can get to us without our even knowing, but luckily, there are measures you can take to prevent it. Just be careful out there the next time you’re at the beach!
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