OUTBREAK: Sea Lice Reported On Florida’s Beaches, What We Know

by | Jun 27, 2018 | Headline News | 20 comments


Photo Credit: The Doctors TV

An outbreak of “sea lice” has been reported on Florida’s beaches.  The lice leave the skin itchy, bumpy, and red after a quick dip in the ocean.  Here’s what we know so far about this outbreak:

On Monday, lifeguards in Pensacola, Florida reported some mild cases of “sea lice” and hoisted purple flags to warn beachgoers, according to WEAR TV. In serious cases, people can experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, and nausea in addition to the red and itchy rash.

“Sea lice,” despite the name, is not actually lice. It’s a rash caused by miniature larvae of marine life — like jellyfish or sea anemones. The term refers to the condition caused by the larvae stings, more accurately called “Sea Bather’s Eruption,” according to ABC Action News.  Although scientists discourage the use of the term “sea lice” because it can cause confusion, the term became popular in the 1950s among locals who experienced the itchy rashes after swimming, according to the Florida Department of Health.  Scientists also say added confusion can come in because there is actually a parasite that only affects fish which also happens to be called “sea lice.”

These recent cases of Sea Bather’s Eruption have been reported along 250 miles of Florida’s southern Atlantic coastline for more than a century, according to the Florida Department of Health. Officials say cases peak from March through August and that shifting currents are to blame for the rash. Most outbreaks can be traced back to the larvae of the thimble jellyfish. They’re visible to the naked eye, but they virtually disappear when in the water making avoiding them is impossible.

Pressure and friction on the jellyfish larvae cause the stinging cells, known as nematocysts, to fire and trigger a reaction on the skin. The Florida Department of Health says that in order to limit the chance of a reaction, “Swimmers should avoid wearing t-shirts while in the ocean… There is some evidence that use of a topical sunscreen or suntan lotion may actually protect skin from penetration by the nematocysts.”

The rash is not life-threatening nor will it be likely to cause serious side effects, but care should be taken to mitigate the itching and pain. If stung by sea lice or other jellyfish, the National Institute of Health recommends applying vinegar to the skin to prevent further discharge of unfired nematocysts. People stung can treat the rash with antihistamines and over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams.

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    1. Menzoberranzan

      The horror

      • John Stiner

        That’s what I told my wife. Yea, it is sea lice, not crabs. See, I didn’t cheat on you.

        • Beaumont

          You’re supposed to blame it on her.

      • Infidel

        And in other news:
        OUTBREAK: Apes Reported On Chicago’s Streets

    2. Brian

      Someone is going to blame this on climate change.

      • John Stiner

        Climate change is old news. Now it is social and economic justice.


      BUT, they have Rights, too.

      Humans are an invasive species when entering the Oceans, right?

      • John Stiner

        This will be the new challenge to the Trump travel ban. He is discriminatory against sea lice.

    4. TharSheBlows

      A SUGGESTED 5 MIN VIDEO FOR ALL. A single 85 YO Man living on an island in the Pacific for 29 years, has some great words of wisdom and his thoughts about regular society and why he chooses to be isolated from all that chaos. I can surely relate.

      ht tp://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1714592/Video-Meet-82-year-old-Japanese-man-living-desert-island.html

      • John Stiner

        Great words of wisdom from a hermit living alone for 29 years, “get the fuck out and leave me alone!”

      • SumTIngWong

        Great words of wisdom?

        Put de’lime in de’coconut, eat’em boat togeda’;Put de’lime in de’coconut, den u feel betta’!

        Please send Stormy Daniels and some Malibu rum…..

    5. george


    6. kay123

      Here in midwest lakes and rivers beaches are contaminated
      by MERSA and duck / goose droppings….among other things.

      Beaches are breeding grounds for bacteria b/c people eliminate
      on them, septic tanks back up into flood water and wash or drain over
      them maybe a couple times a year.
      Animals of all kinds come to the banks to drink…. and eliminate.
      More people /animals….more pollution.

      As kids we used to say fishing was no good on Mississippi or
      Rock River because you had to snap your fishingline too often
      to remove the toilet paper flowing down stream!!!
      I have NEVER EATEN FISH out of those, either!!

    7. Roger D

      Did we have sea lice before homosexuals took over Gulf beaches near Pensacola?


      We take a HUGE risk even going to TX beaches. Galveston to Corpus Christi high fecal bacteria levels in the beach water, in addition to the flesh eating vibrio bacteria.

      Nothing goes on my family’s table from the TX coast…it’s disgusting.

    9. Cyberrifles

      Piss on it. This is not a joke.

    10. SumTIngWong

      O-o-h….vely good…flied lice vely nice. Make vely good to eat. Vely good.

      • Beaumont

        There is really a real saying, that they eat anything, which crawls, swims, or flies.

        Being animists, they like for it to have eyes.

      • Beaumont

        Fun words to try —
        Denuclearization of the Yellow Peril.

    11. Him

      There is a report that Al Sharpton had been wading along the shoreline just before the outbreak.

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