The sea has never been a particularly hospitable environment for humans. Some of our oldest stories warn of the dangers of crossing with threats of storms and great leviathans that can wreak a ship and kill the crew in mere moments. Even when the sea is quiet it can still be dangerous as becalmed ships are left stranded to bake under the unrelenting sun. In modern times these dangers are less severe. GPS, cell-phones, and fuel-powered engines make ocean travel far less terrifying. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to fear. The ocean still holds many dangerous threats and some are almost impossible to see coming.
Beachgoers in Florida have recently been suffering from attacks of nearly-invisible parasites. Sea-Lice outbreaks are worrying the Florida Public Health Department. These tiny little creatures are no larger than a speck of pepper and can bite the skin to cause terrible rashes and flu-like symptoms.
Interestingly enough sea lice are not actually lice at all. Actually, they’re really just jellyfish and anemone larvae. Everything has to eat and these little guys will latch onto anything the floats next to them. Their bites don’t sting at first but welts and rashes can develop sometime within the next 24 hours.
Fortunately treatment for “Seabather’s eruption”, as it’s called, doesn’t require a visit to the doctor’s office. Most of the time a hot shower is enough to start the process of recovery and it’s usually all that’s required provided the rash isn’t irritated further through scratching. Oh, and be sure to wash your clothes very thoroughly as the lice can get trapped in the fabric. Some experts recommend wiping the clothes down with vinegar or rubbing alcohol before reuse.
For more information check out the following news story:
Please remember that the beach is just another kind of wildlife area and that when you go swimming you’re entering other animals domains. Take appropriate precautions and don’t forget the sunscreen.