I just read something that makes me wonder why we ever set foot in the water. Before I tell you what it is, let me first explain what up until now ranked high on my gross list. One year my older kids visiting their mother in Florida came down with a nasty skin condition after swimming in a lake near their uncle’s house. The condition was described to me as “lake itch.” Cercarial dermatitis. It’s parasites from infected snails being released into the water then latching onto you.

This was the stuff of my nightmares until I read the NJ.com article on sea lice.

Yes, there’s something called sea lice, and they’re now in New Jersey’s ocean water. Sea lice, or the larvae of tiny jellyfish, will get into your bathing suit and when the fabric touches them stinging cells are activated and you end up with stinging, burning sores. Not to mention you’re waking around with near microscopic larvae inside your swimsuit.

Did we all just throw up in our mouths a little bit?

They normally are only here very late in the season when the water is at its warmest but Tropical Storm Isaias apparently brought them up from warmer Florida waters. This weekend Avalon Beach Patrol received multiple reports. Affected people can usually be treated with antihistamines and cortisone creams. (Chief Brody voice: You’re gonna need a bigger tube.) There can be severe cases requiring medical attention.

Oh, and that jellyfish larvae a.k.a. sea lice? It will stay in your swimsuit until your wash it and dry it on high heat.

Thanks 2020 for bringing us coronavirus AND sea lice. So kind of you.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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