Outbreak of Sea Lice On Ocean City Beaches - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Outbreak of Sea Lice On Ocean City Beaches

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 6:26 PM -04:00 Updated:

OCEAN CITY, Md-Creepy crawlers have been terrorizing beachgoers in Worcester County. The outbreak is what is commonly known as "sea lice." Ocean City Beach Patrol says they've received dozens of calls within the last few days of people complaining about irritation and redness after coming out of the water. 

"People refer to it as sea lice, but what they're talking about is a condition called Seabather's Eruption," Butch Arbin, Captain of Ocean City Beach Patrol said.  However, Seabather's Eruption is only the condition you experience after. 

But the creepy crawlers may not be what you think.

"What it is is small minute pieces of jellyfish that cause stinging once they're trapped, or in this case crab larvae," he continued. Arbin says when the critters sting or bite, this is what swimmers feel after exiting the water.

10-year-old Allison Mohan and her brothers experienced the crawlers first-hand two days ago. Mohan says out of a scale of 1-10, the bites were an 8.

"It really hurt because it got into our bathing suits and stuff and it felt like a needle poking you," she said.

After experiencing the crawlers, she says her mom took them to the showers to try and get them off.

Ocean City Beach Patrol says washing with fresh water is the best way to reduce Seabather's Eruption. If irritation and redness continues, one may also use benadryl, or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream. 

They also recommend checking yourself thoroughly after exiting the water.

"It's kind of scary because I have two young children that are here in the ocean playing," Krystie Oliver, a beachgoer said. "So I know I will be checking them when I get home tonight."

Captain Arbin says the outbreak may be the result of warm water--though he says the crawlers may be on their way out from oceans soon.

Hopefully bringing some comfort to Ocean City shores. 

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