New Jersey beaches are witnessing an invasion of the Portuguese man o ‘wars. More than two dozen have washed up on Long Beach Island and along the New Jersey coastline.
The man o’war is a siphonophore made up of zooids but looks exactly like a jellyfish and stings like one, it is usually found in Gulf Stream and has been seen after 17 years on the beaches of New Jersey, owing to the unusual warmer water this year.
This species is highly toxic and packs an intense sting.
Even dead specimens can sting just as painfully as the live organism in the water and may remain potent for hours or even days after the death of the organism or the detachment of the tentacle.
Stings usually cause severe pain to humans, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last two or three days after the initial sting, though the pain should subside after about an hour. However, the venom can travel to the lymph nodes and cause more intense pain. A sting may lead to an allergic reaction. There can also be serious effects, including fever, shock, and interference with heart and lung function. Stings may also cause death, although this is extremely rare. Medical attention may be necessary, especially if pain persists or is intense, the reaction is extreme, the rash worsens, a feeling of overall illness develops, a red streak develops between swollen lymph nodes and the sting, or either area becomes red, warm, and tender, sourced by National Geographic.
If stung immediately remove the tentacles from your skin and apply saltwater before heading to a doctor for further care.
An earlier version of this article misstated Man o’war as a type of jellyfish (now corrected) and corrections were made to ‘Long Beach Island.’
For further information read http://www.esbtrib.com/2015/06/24/18535/