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Jellyfish Invade Florida Beaches Over Memorial Day Weekend


They may be pretty, but their bite is much worse than their nonexistent bark

The beach was the place to be over the Memorial Day weekend, unless you were one of the hundreds of people in Florida who were under attack by stinging jellyfish.

Swarms of the purplish creatures stung more than 800 people at beaches in central Florida, including Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Countless jellyfish washed up on shores during the time of year when the onshore breeze and an east swell make conditions ripe for the mauve stingers.

Stings from a jellyfish are hardly fun, causing itching, burning and rashes, which sometimes trigger an allergic reaction. Two people were taken to the hospital after being stung and were treated for respiratory distress.

Most of the people stung over the weekend were treated by a vinegar solution at various lifeguard stations, according to CNN.

There are different ways to treat jellyfish stings besides vinegar solutions, however.

While you’re still in the salt water, rub sand and sea water over the wounded area as soon as possible. Repeat it several times until the slimy feeling dissipates. Then go ashore, but don’t rinse the sting with fresh water (unless you were stung by a man of war).

Remove the pieces of jellyfish tentacle with an object like a sea shell or credit card try not to touch it directly.

Urinating on the sting will most likely not work and is not recommended.

If you’re sure the sting was from a jellyfish, you can treat it with baking soda, vinegar or lidocaine, which will help stop the burning sensation. Aloe gel or cream can also help with the aftercare.

Keep in mind that the stings are venomous, and someone stung who’s feeling dizzy, nauseous or is having trouble breathing should be seen by medical professionals immediately.

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish?

Be prepared with Babble’s 2011 Summer Safety Guide!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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