Stinging jellyfish wash ashore in Marion

Jul 26, 2023

MARION — Portuguese man o’ war, a type of stinging jellyfish, were spotted washed ashore in Marion, according to an announcement from the Marion Board of Health. 

Portuguese man o’ war is typically found floating in the water, and can be identified by its blue, violet, or pink balloon-like float. They also have long, trailing tentacles that can reach up to 100 feet in length, read a press release from the board of health. 

The town advises that if stung by a Portuguese man o’ war, a person should seek medical attention immediately. The sting can cause severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

To relieve pain and sting symptoms, a person should: Remove any tentacles that may be attached to skin, apply a cold compress to the affected area, take over-the-counter pain medication and drink fluids.

To prevent a Portuguese man o' war sting, avoid swimming in areas where they are known to be present. If someone must swim in these areas, they should wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and gloves. They should also avoid touching any floating objects in the water.

A Portuguese man o' war may still sting even weeks after having washed ashore.

The Marion Board of Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.