March 13, 2023

Gulf Coast Officials Warn Spring Breakers About Man O’ War Infestation

Morgan Howard

According to WBCR, officials on the Gulf Coast are warning Spring Breakers about an infestation of Portuguese Man O’ War.

The creature is clear with a blue tint and is similar to a jellyfish. However, officials say that they can be more dangerous.

The South Walton Fire District says the venom is quite powerful and could send you to the hospital.

WBRC reports that Beach Safety Director David Vaughan says there are thousands of man o’ war on the beaches and in the water right now, all during their first big batch of Spring Breakers. The creatures come up with the current oftentimes.

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. These man o’ war can cause serious injury and sometimes even death.

“Statistically, one in about 10,000 people will have an anaphylactic-type allergic reaction to that where it could close up the airways,” said Vaughan. “So think bee stings needing an epi pen or something like that, like a peanut allergy. So we’ll run — we might run a call like that.”

Warm water is supposed to help relieve the pain if you are stung. Keep an eye out for the flags on the beach! If you see a purple flag, it means there could be dangerous marine life in the water.

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