Yesterday, we reported that two deadly Portuguese Man O' War had washed up on a Fire Island beach at Cherry Grove, days after the creatures were also spotted at the Jersey Shore. Sadly, it appears these poisonous zooid colonies aren't just making pretty shapes in the sand—three people in the area were stung yesterday, including two children under the age of 8.
According to multiple reports, a 4-year-old boy was stung at around 12:17 p.m. yesterday while in Davis Park, toward the eastern side of Fire Island. At around 3:30 p.m., a 7-year-old boy was stung on the hand in Kismet, on the western end. Both were treated at local hospitals and released. A third unidentified victim was also stung in Davis Park, but did not ask for medical assistance.
As we've noted previously, Man O' War's tentacles are extremely poisonous, even after the feared siphonophore is dead. The stings are apparently quite painful—one victim once told the Tampa Bay Times that being stung "felt like a hot knife going in,"—and though they are rarely fatal, those pretty translucent sacks have still caused a number of documented deaths over the years.
If you're stung by a Man O' War, head to shore if you're in the water, rinse the sting spot with seawater, and apply isopropryl alcohol or vinegar to the wound. Once the pain has dulled down, experts recommend applying hydrocortisone cream until the whole thing has healed.
Meanwhile, scientists say the Northeast is getting invaded by all these Man O' War thanks to warmer waters caused by Gulf Stream currents, and not because these blobby creatures are intent on killing us all as retribution for Sex Box, may it rest in peace.