Nearly 4,000 jellyfish stings treated in Volusia County
Strong current needed to help ease invasion, lifeguards say
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Troubles with jellyfish continue along the Volusia County coast.
Lifeguards say 469 people were treated for jellyfish stings over the weekend.
Over the past 15 days, lifeguards estimate nearly 3,900 people have been stung while wading in the water.
Beach safety officials say a change in the weather or a strong current is needed to take them back out to sea.
What to do
Officials are recommending anyone stung by a jellyfish to exit the water and flag down a lifeguard truck or go to a staffed tower. Jellyfish stings can be painful and a lifeguard can rinse the area with vinegar, which is a common treatment.
If you or someone you know is stung, the vinegar is just one option. Use the following tips, courtesy of WebMD.com, for further treatment:
Right after 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 packs 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 WebMD, 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 if 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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