Another round of Portuguese men-of-war, similar to jellyfish, has made its way onto county beaches and county officials are urging beachgoers to be cautious around them.
The creatures have washed ashore on Boca Chica Beach, Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park and Beach Access No. 5 and No. 6 on South Padre Island.
“We’re asking beachgoers to simply not touch the jellyfish-like marine creature,” said Humberto Barrera, the county’s emergency management coordinator.
“The venomous tentacles can deliver a painful sting.”
The creatures are identified by a pink and purple gas-filled, bubble-like bladder above and long, venomous tentacles below.
Officials said the severe pain from the stinging tentacles will subside after about an hour, while the welts on the skin will last about two days. Allergic reactions are possible.
Although stings can cause death, this is extremely rare.
Cameron County Extension Agent Tony Reisinger said the emergence of the men-of-war is “actually a normal occurrence seasonally worldwide.”
Officials advise that anyone stung by a Portuguese man-of-war should take the following action:
- Avoid any further contact with the Portuguese man-of-war and carefully remove any remnants of the organism from the skin. Make sure they do not touch other parts of the fingers and skin.
- Apply salt water to the affected area. Fresh water tends to make the affected area worse.
- Follow up with the application of hot water to the affected area from anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes.