Jellyfish spottings increase as water temperatures rise - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Jellyfish spottings increase as water temperatures rise

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - If you walk along the beach, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see a jellyfish up close and personal.

Jellyfish fill the water, year-round, but you'll come across more on the sand, as we head into the summer.

Past trends show the most common time to see the stinging pests wash up ashore is in August.

Recently, there have been spottings.

Wednesday, lifeguards at Lack's Beach said they're not surprised.

Jellyfish come out with the heat.

Since the warmer weather is increasing the temperature of the water, jellyfish are washing ashore.

Plus, the heat also brings more people to the beach which means, more sightings.

Dr. Pangia with the Grand Strand Medical Center said, "[Jellyfish] are very much affected by the currents in the ocean and so storms and winds and all these different kind of tidal patterns will effect what type of jellyfish well see at any particular time of the day."

CCU marine science professors agree the weather most likely washed them ashore.

Professors said they anticipate as we move into days with southwesterly breezes, the incidents will likely decline.

But, it will return again throughout the summer.

How to prepare for a jellyfish sting

First things first, if you see a jellyfish, no matter what, don't pick it up.

They don't have to be alive - or even in the water - to sting and leave a mark.

“There's that line of little welts, little kind of little blister-like bumps that really itch or hurt or burn and I know, that was a jellyfish sting,” said Pangia.

The first thing you'll need to do is deactivate the stingers, which can be done using vinegar.

Lack's Beach Service said lifeguards will be equipped with vinegar in the next few days.

“What vinegar really does is it's not making the pain go away -- it's stopping you from getting stung because that tentacle can still be on you and its still stinging you,” Pangia explained.

Another option is warm water.

Using urine to treat a jellyfish sting is a myth.

Pangia doesn't recommend following the myth to use urine.

When it comes to further treatment, Pangia says you should visit the ER if you're seeing symptoms beyond a need to scratch.

"Almost every single sting is totally benign, it's probably not even as bad as getting stung by a bee. The problem is you can get a bunch of stings from one tentacle," said Pangia.

Sea lice and sea bathers

Sea lice or sea bathers eruption is another issue you may come across.

Basically, jellyfish larve can get around the skin and causes an irritation.

It's not very common, but Pangia says more incidences have popped up along the coast.

So about a day after swimming, look out for a rash in the areas your bathing suit covered.

However, Pangia said most rashes you get at the beach will go away on its own.

If you're experiencing more than a rash, like nausea or aching, that's when you need to reach out to doctors.

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