Bite and cause rashes: sea lice spotted on several beaches in New Jersey
Sea lice have been seen on some beaches in New Jersey. They bite bathers and cause rashes. Writes about it Only in Your State.
Sea lice bites can cause a moderate to severe rash, and sometimes even a need for medical attention. Symptoms include raised, red, itchy bumps or blisters that appear within minutes or within 12 hours of swimming.
Sea lice are external parasites that feed on fish, but local biologists say that the New Jersey area is actually home to jellyfish larvae.
The larvae of the thimble jellyfish elicit a similar reaction to that of the sea lice.
Most likely, they came to New Jersey from Florida (although they are found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico) along with tropical storm Isaiah. They were able to survive and move further north due to the warm weather that has been holding them lately. July was the hottest in New Jersey history.
Until now, it was believed that these "lice" live on the beaches of Ocean City, Stone Harbor and Avalon.
However, it is likely that these parasites may be in the water on other beaches - Cape May and Atlantic County.
Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take against them.
Sea lice are practically invisible to the naked eye and often end up in swimwear. Experts recommend taking off your bathing suit as soon as possible and taking a quick shower with soap. Doctors note that calamine lotion and antihistamines can help in many cases when a rash occurs. It is always best to consult a doctor to find out the cause of the rash and get treatment recommendations.
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