Officials warn spring breakers about Portuguese man o’ war infestation
SOUTH WALTON, Fl. (WBRC/Gray News) - Officials on the Gulf Coast are warning spring breakers heading to the area about an infestation of Portuguese man o’ war.
The creature is similar to a jellyfish but can be more dangerous. Those with the South Walton Fire District say the venom is quite powerful and could send you to the hospital.
Beach Safety Director David Vaughan says there are thousands of man o’ war on the beaches and in the water right now. The creatures are wind riders so they come with the current, sometimes unexpectedly.
Vaughan says it’s most common for those from out of town, who are unaware of the dangers out on the Gulf, to get hurt while out on the beach.
“Statistically, one in about 10,000 people will have an anaphylactic-type allergic reaction to that where it could close up the airways,” Vaughan said. “So, think bee stings needing an Epi-pen or something like that, like a peanut allergy.”
Fire officials said to use warm water to relieve the pain of a sting.
If you see a purple flag out on the beach, dangerous marine life is in the water.
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