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Sea lice outbreak in Florida
March 27, 2017
If you're heading to the beach this summer, getting a sunburn may be the least of your worries. A recent "sea lice" outbreak in Florida has people running for the hills... or at least the shore. This somewhat common skin rash is sometimes called ocean itch or beach lice. The good news, it's not really lice. The bad news: it's probably tiny jelly fish larvae stinging on your skin.
CNN reports, "Though visible to the naked eye, these baby jellies disappear from sight in the water, making them impossible to avoid. They tend to migrate inside bathing suits, making their way through the mesh of the fabric, where they become trapped and begin to sting."
Most people won't realize they've been stung for up to 24 hours. Side effects of the "sea lice" include fever, chills, nausea and headaches, along with a raised, bumpy or blistery rash.
"Some people do experience a prickling sensation while in the water, though itching usually lasts several hours after being in the water and lasts for two to four days," Parks and Recreation officials told ABC News.
Florida beach-goers have reported a higher-than-usual number of beach lice occurrences this year. The Florida Department of Health says the more frequent happenings are likely tied to the current shifts, ABC News reported.
Keep an eye out for purple flags on the beach. These flags signify that there are water pests present in that area of the beach.
Florida Parks and Recreation officials recommended a few ways to prevent these type of bites including:
-Wearing as little as possible into the water (keep it to your swimsuit)
-Changing your swimsuit as soon as your get out of the water and washing your swimsuits immediately to get rid of any lingering pests.
-You can also be able to purchase creams to help reduce any itchiness
-Purchase a lotion to prevent bites (it works like bug spray but is designed to ward off water pests)
Have you ever been exposed to sea lice? Share your experience in the comments below.