2,050 beachgoers stung by jellyfish in Volusia; here's what to do

12 swimmers rescued from ocean on Sunday


VOLUSA COUNTY, Fla. – Jellyfish, high tide and soft sand were among the problems Sunday on Volusia County Beaches.

On Sunday alone, there were 250 jellyfish stings, making about 2,050 stings in the last nine days, Volusia County Beach Safety officials said.

Some areas were temporarily closed due to high tide and soft sand issues, which created an unsafe traffic lane in crowded areas.

Officials said they flew the yellow and purple flags, and rescued 12 people throughout the day, but none were major issues.

Officials said anyone who is stung by a jellyfish should get out of the water and flag down a lifeguard or go to a staffed tower to get the sting treated. Though they are painful, most are not life-threatening.

What to do

According to WebMD.com, here are the steps you should follow to treat a jellyfish sting:

First, get out of the water. The only thing that could make a jellyfish sting hurt more is suffering another one. Eliminate that risk by staying clear of the jelly-like creatures.

Next, try to stop the stinging by rinsing the area that was stung with vinegar for at least 30 seconds, WebMD recommends. Experts also encourage trying to remove the tentacles from the wound using a pair of tweezers.

Once you remove the tentacles, soak the area that was stung in hot water, specifically ranging in temperature from 104 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, for at least 20 minutes, the site recommended. If you’d rather take a hot shower instead, experts say that serves as an alternative to soaking the area, as long as you stay in the shower for 20 to 45 minutes.

The website mentions that these treatment recommendations are based on research done in the Indo-Pacific areas and isn’t guaranteed to work for all stings.

After initial treatment

Stings can make you itchy and uncomfortable for a while after the initial sting goes away. WebMD recommends sting victims use a mild hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamine to bring temporary relief.

Ice pack and over-the-counter pain relievers or antihistamines can be used to treat the welts that come after a sting.

Experts also recommend cleaning open sores three times per day and applying antibiotic ointment. If necessary, use bandages to cover the wound.

The tips above should bring relief after a sting, but there are scenarios where swimmers or other sting victims should seek more intense treatment.

According to Web MD, you should call authorities or other emergency responders if the person is showing any signs of a severe allergic reaction. Redness and itchiness are common, but continue to monitor the area and victim’s behavior for more severe reactions.

The website also recommends calling 911 if the sting is from a box jellyfish or of it covers more than half of the victim’s arm or leg.

For more information on how to treat jellyfish stings or what to look for after they take place, click here.

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