Surge of ‘sea lice’ are stinging swimmers at Virginia Beach
Swimmers are getting a stinging surprise when they hit the surf at Virginia Beach.
Lifeguards this week are seeing an increase in reports of people being stung by sea lice at the Oceanfront district, reports WTKR-TV News 3.
“Sea lice” is the common name for these thimble jellyfish larvae and the resulting rash is called “seabather’s eruption,” according to AJC.com.
Beachgoers told WTKR-TV News 3 on Thursday that they were in the water for just a few minutes when the tingling sensation of the jellyfish stings began.
“It felt like sand on your clothes and then it started to feel like things were biting you,” Cade Welsh told WTKR-TV News 3. Welsh has lived in Virginia Beach for four years and had never heard of sea lice.
“If you, like, scratch, it will feel like sand and if you look, you’ll see a clear thing with blue eyes.”
‘Sea lice’ stinging swimmers off Virginia Beach https://t.co/hA9Mj5Xffl
— AJC (@ajc) July 12, 2019
News 3 reported seeing a group of girls Thursday visiting the Oceanfront from New York running for the showers to get relief.
“We started running up to the shore, and then we felt around and there was stuff crawling on us,” one girl told the news station.
If you are stung during this seasonal surge in sea lice, just rinse the tiny creatures away with fresh water. The most common reaction is a skin rash that often clears up when rinsed with water. A persistent reaction can often be cleared up with a hydrocortizone or antihistamine cream, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Steven Adams is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Steven at 412-380-5645 or [email protected].