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Jellyfish - The Facts


swbailey
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It seems sea lice may be more of a problem these days (April 2020). They are not really lice as the name suggests, rather they behave as such in the sense they cause an itchy rush. Sea lice is actually jellyfish "babies" i.e. larvae (Linuche unguiculata)

 

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  • Jellyfish larvae stings form small, very itchy red bumps on your skin. The bumps may change into small blisters.
  • The rash typically appears between 4 and 24 hours after you swim. You might feel a slight prickling sensation in the water when the larvae release their toxins.
  • You'll often see the rash on areas of your body that your bathing suit covers. You might also find spots on your arms, legs, neck, and in your armpits.

https://www.medicinenet.com/sea_lice/article.htm )

 

Does't look so dangerous at all, but more bothersome, real menace particularly if your small kid got affected, as very itchy at times. I attached picture of the rush.

Sea lice bites can range from a nuisance in adults to the cause of nausea, fever, and more severe symptoms in children. The rash typically goes away with time and isn’t contagious. With treatment it can go away in 4-5 days, without treatment the rush/itch may last 2 weeks or more (depending on individual and if "re-bitten")

 

The larvae are transparent, so you can’t see them. And they’re so tiny (2 to 3 millimeters long), they get trapped in your hair, or in between your bathing suit and your skin. It also tricky as one of the main factors is wearing swimsuit, and particularly sun/swim protection suit (as I do). So, for example you wear your swim/sun protection lycra suit in part to protect you from jellyfish stings (as it indeed will do), but you then got sea lice bites exactly because you wore the suit! How the nature can be playful, if not cynical 🙄😏 😁  . But I'd prefer Sea Lice bite to an adult jellyfish anytime! 

 

Anyways, I swim on Hua Hin beach (just close to the Bluport mall area) and just had been "paid complements" of these sea rascals... glad it is not something more unpleasant and nasty😁. But be on a lookout and mind where you swim....

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Aside from staying out of the water, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent sea lice. But there are ways to avoid the rash. Jellyfish larvae season is generally from March through August. Their numbers are highest between April and July. Swimming in the ocean during this time doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get sea lice, though. Outbreaks come and go.

So, brush up on your knowledge of winds and currents, they say. Chances of an outbreak go up where the stream passes closest to shore. They’re also higher in places where strong winds combine with shifts in currents to bring the larvae closer to shore.

 

Treatment options

(as suggested at https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sea-lice#1 )

 

  • First, what not to do: Don’t jump into a shower or pool with your bathing suit on and expect relief. Fresh water will make the jellyfish start to sting again and may worsen your pain.
  • Take off your bathing suit as soon as you can and rinse your body.
  • Wash your suit in hot water and toss it into the dryer to make sure all the larvae are gone.
  • You can apply treatments like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to your skin a few times a day. They’ll ease the itching and pain. 
  • Antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen may help, too. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a steroid

 

 

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