'Sea lice' stinging swimmers off Florida's Santa Rosa Beach - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'Sea lice' stinging swimmers off Florida's Santa Rosa Beach

In this June 9, 2015 photo, umbrella chairs dot the beach along County Road 30A in the Florida Panhandle, in Walton County, Fla. (Source: AP Melissa Nelson-Gabriel/FloridaHealth.gov) In this June 9, 2015 photo, umbrella chairs dot the beach along County Road 30A in the Florida Panhandle, in Walton County, Fla. (Source: AP Melissa Nelson-Gabriel/FloridaHealth.gov)
Adult Thimble Jellyfish, or "Sea Lice," as they are known (Source: FloridaHealth.gov) Adult Thimble Jellyfish, or "Sea Lice," as they are known (Source: FloridaHealth.gov)
Lesions associated with seabather's eruption. Extended areas of rash may be caused by larvae trapped by wearing a T-shirt in the ocean, or in areas of exposed skin. (Source: FloridaHealth.gov) Lesions associated with seabather's eruption. Extended areas of rash may be caused by larvae trapped by wearing a T-shirt in the ocean, or in areas of exposed skin. (Source: FloridaHealth.gov)

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Swimmers at a Florida Panhandle beach are dealing with painful rashes from stinging jellyfish larvae, more commonly known as "sea lice."

The News Herald (http://bit.ly/1TXqH79 ) reports the sea lice are almost invisible to the naked eye, but they leave an unmistakable sting. They've been reported along Walton County's Santa Rosa Beach this week.

Santa Rosa Beach is located in the panhandle of Florida, along the popular 30A Highway between Destin and Panama City, featuring Seaside Beach, Grayton Beach, and Watercolor.

LEARN MORE: Sea Lice or Seabathers Eruption

Scott Jackson, a sea grant extension agent in nearby Bay County, says some scientists have compared the larvae to specks of pepper. They typically float harmlessly in the water, but sometimes they get trapped inside swimsuits. That's when they sting.

Jackson says they leave behind a rash or bumps on the skin. The rash is often called "ocean itch" and lasts from a couple hours to several days.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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