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Beware Of Sea Lice Outbreaks On The Rise

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If you’re an avid beachgoer and swimmer, this important message could save you a trip to the hospital. The news and health departments are warning swimmers about an outbreak of “seabather’s eruption,” a condition that results in a painful rash and flu-like symptoms.

Seabather’s eruption is caused by microscopic marine pests called “sea lice.” These sea lice can be found in warm oceans like the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Those in Florida should be especially cautious. The peak months for seabather’s eruption are between April and July.

Sea lice are about as big as a speck of pepper, but are the larvae of adult jellyfish. The larvae get in between swimmers’ bathing suits, clothes, and hair, then sting the person’s flesh, causing a rash. Like sun poisoning, the rash can be itchy and painful, but it can be treated with antihistamine or hydrocortisone creams, as well as colloidal oatmeal and calamine lotion.

Swimmers can avoid sea lice by wearing minimal clothing in the water. Opt for bikinis instead of full-coverage bathing suits and wash them as soon as possible after they’ve been worn.

Have you ever encountered sea lice at the beach? Let us know in the comments!

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Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/sea-lice/

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