WARNING: 'Sea Lice' Outbreaks Spike Along Florida Beaches
Officials are warning Florida beachgoers to watch out for the tiny jellyfish larvae known as "sea lice," reporting more cases of swimmers getting stung.
Also called "seabather's eruption," the stings produce an itchy rash and possibly flu-like symptoms.
The invisible larvae - as small as a speck of ground pepper - get caught up in a swimmer's bathing suit or hair and the stings are sometimes not even noticeable while a person is in the water.
— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) June 7, 2016
It's recommended that swimmers wear less clothing to avoid the baby jellyfish becoming trapped.
To treat the rash, doctors say you should rub the area with sand or the edge of a credit card, then flush it with hot water. They caution against using cold water.
— KVUE News (@KVUE) June 7, 2016
The itching can be treated with antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream. In more severe cases, a person could experience a fever and nausea.
WKRG reports that purple flags have been placed on beaches along the Florida Panhandle in recent weeks to warn swimmers.
It's expected that the sea lice will make their way west to other Gulf Coach beaches.
Learn more about sea lice, here.