Jellyfish stings on the rise in the Carolinas

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Jellyfish stings appear to be on the rise along the Carolina coastline.

A few weekends ago at a beach near Charleston, jelly fish stung about 300 people when usually, lifeguards there say they only see a handful of stings.

Dr. Dennis Rhoades says he sees anywhere from two to eight patients each day with jellyfish stings at the Doctors Care in North Myrtle Beach.

"For some reason this summer, we're seeing an awful lot more jelly fish stings and also stingray incidents," Rhoades said.

It's the increase in stingrays that Lack's Beach Service says they've seen as well. More specifically, they've seen more skates, or what look like smaller stingrays, in the water.

However, it's the jellyfish stings that seem to be on the rise along the coast. Beach-goers along the Grand Strand say they've seen it themselves.

"We weren't allowed to get dunked when we were parasailing because there was a lot of jellyfish. We weren't allowed to touch the water at all," Julia Cipriani said.

Irlen Mendoza brought her son to the beach for the first time and she's keeping a close eye on him.

"If he goes near the water, I make sure he's not really where I can't see his feet. If we go in, I'll go with him, carrying him so he doesn't touch the ground," said Mendoza.

The Department of Natural Resources advises that if a person is stung, they should remove the tentacles as quickly as possible. As long as they remain on the skin, they will continue to discharge venom.

Rhoades also says putting the sting in water can help.

"The best thing is if you do get a jellyfish sting, put it in hot water as soon as you can, that tends to neutralize the toxin that's associated with the pain," Rhoades said.

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