This is so gross. Nasty sea lice found at Florida beaches. Normally when you go to the beach, you want to cool off and swim, maybe get a tan or go on a nice walk. The last thing you are even worried about is getting lice. Well, its happening at beaches in Florida.
If you’re heading to the beach this weekend you might want to plan ahead. Beachgoers are getting sea lice. Most of us haven’t even thought about lice since Elementary school. Well, it’s a thing here in Florida. Sea Lice.
Hurricane Lee may be to blame for this as it is stirring up this recent return of sea lice. Don’t panic just yet, it’s not that bad. Sea lice aren’t like the head lice that kids get at summer camp. In fact, they really aren’t lice at all. People in south Florida near Palm Beach are experiencing this.
What Is Sea Lice
The term “sea lice” originated during the 1950s and was described as an itchy rash experienced after swimming. According to the Florida Department of Health, periodic outbreaks of the ‘sea lice’ have likely existed for centuries.
After a 20 year absence, the problem reappeared in the mid-1980s. The peak months for complaints about this rash are March through August. Outbreaks have intensified and become more severe over the years by the number of cases reported.
Sea Lice appears to be caused by shifts in the ocean currents, the cases are in Palm Beach and North Broward counties, where the Gulf Stream passes closest to shore. The tiny organisms which are barely visible to the naked eye have stinging structures known as nematocysts. When the larvae become trapped and agitated under bathing suits, their stinging structures fire. The FDOH said it’s common to see 200 or more stings under a person’s bathing suit.
When pressure is applied — like when someone sits down on a towel — those invisible organisms release stringing cells called nemocytes that can cause itchy welts within hours. The larvae also have an affinity for hair, which is why you can sometimes lesions on your necks from hair dangling in the water and then contacting the skin.
Treatment For Sea Lice
If you get the rash can use an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine for the itching, plus an over-the-counter 0.5% hydrocortisone cream for the rash. Also practice good personal hygiene. It will also help to avoid secondary bacterial infections.
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