Reports Of Locals Affected By ‘Sea Lice’

August 2, 2011

[Updated] Numerous reports of ‘sea lice’ are popping up across Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry messenger and email, with many saying they believe they were affected after swimming in the water while attending the Non-Mariners Race in Mangrove Bay in Sandys.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed they had a number of cases of sea lice in both the KEMH Emergency and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, however said it was not more than they usually see.

Sea lice, also referred to as seabathers eruption, is a form of dermatitis that causes itchy skin and appears on covered areas of the skin [under bathing suits, shirts, and long hair], rather than on exposed areas as with swimmers itch, and is associated with bathing in coastal waters.

Sea lice is not just a Bermuda problem, the video below is a U.S news report describing the issues beach goers experience in Florida with sea lice:

One method of prevention – which we are not advocating, just mentioning – appears to be to swim naked.

”In the interest of good public health research and practice, we feel compelled to note that abandoning swimming garments altogether, usually referred to as ‘nude bathing’ or ‘skinny dipping,’ might go a long way to reducing the occurrence of this disease,” the U.S. Public Health Service professional journal said.

”It’s true. If you don’t wear a swimsuit, you probably won’t get a sea lice rash,” said Dr. Jean Malecki, director of a Florida County Health Department.

Update 11:51am: Dr Roslyn Bascombe Adams, Deputy Chief of Emergency at KEMH, said, “We have had a number of cases of sea lice in Emergency at the hospital and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, but not more than we usually see.”

“Sea lice are the larvae of jellyfish which can get caught between bathing suit and skin. If contact is prolonged, the skin erupts in a fine red rash and itching can occur – usually in the distribution of the bathing suit.”

“Cases should be treated by removing the suit, washing the area with water and vinegar solution and using topical 1% hydrocortisone cream for the itching.”

“Swimsuits need to be washed in hot water before use again to decrease the chance of recurrent symptoms when used again. This care can be done over the counter at a pharmacy and rarely is there a genuine need to come to the ER,” concluded the doctor.

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Comments (51)

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  1. cocoa says:

    Very disturbing.

    • Point Boi says:

      what, the insurgence of sea lice, or swimming naked? neither phenom bothers me!

  2. Terry says:

    Yes eye…………..No more need for gambling and IB….Come to Bermuda and be nude and crude…… Sea Lice will be nice…..just bring ice………….

    • Point Boi says:

      wow, Terry actually is penning comprehendible nursery rhymes….must be the gloomy weather that clears away his cobwebs! Well done Terry, let’s hope it keeps on raining!

      • Terry says:

        Point Boi…When one lives in Foggy Bottom it rains, it pours, and we don’t keep score. When Condaleesa Rice comes buy we always life to fry. But Lice and Rice don’t fill my vice for …….you finish yah ole boi frum point without a joint

        • Point Boi says:

          LOL u fkin sick man! Terry’s da man! LOL Sick boi! LOL

  3. Wankers!!! says:

    Wondering what my girl was complaining about. Look like mosquitos had a buffet on her!!!! I did a slight read up and to relieve the itching dilute some vinegar with water. Should be good.

  4. Ganja mon says:

    so thats what it was on my friend

  5. Joe Cupmatch says:

    Who gets to write this stuff? I want in.

    • bernews says:

      Consider yourself in. We are always up for help.

  6. Point Boi says:

    my M8 tells me that he saw something worse than the lice floating in he water in Mangrove Bay. I think its time Marine & Ports require holding tanks on any boat with a head (toilet) YUCK !

    • 0_o says:

      Yea…. I seen the floating “mini snickers” bars too!!


    • sandgrownan says:

      Non-Mariners is disgusting, swimming in a sea of turds, urine and cigarette butts.

    • wow says:

      sorry but if it went through a marine head(toilet) it wouldn’t look like “mini snickers” floating by.. a marine toilet comes in two forms…macerator(chopper) or vacuum flush…either way by the time they reach the outside of the boat they are blended into dirty water, not much more… if you see “mini snickers” floating by then someone has dropped trousers while swimming and let it go……while the idea of a holding tank may seem great, what happens when it is full? chances are you would prefer to see a few ounces of dirty water pump out the side of a boat rather than when that tank is full and the owner pumps out 50 gallons at a time….

  7. Anyone says:

    Bernews is da bomb. You have revolutionised the way news is reported. Definitely an ward-winner!!! Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Ooo says:

    Yup, I got it after swimming at non-mariners. Felt stinging on my body all day while in the water. Now I have a rash and it itches like crazy. How long does it last??

  9. Ooo says:

    I have this! Got it after swimming all day at non-mariners, wondered what kept stinging me in the water and now I have a the rash :(

  10. BermyBeachWhale says:

    Where is the naked beach to? Govt should consider this as a new business adventure! I’ll be there

  11. Miss J says:

    Symptoms of sea lice exposure often do not appear for six hours or more after the exposure it may last from two days to two weeks. Rashes and blisters from sea lice stings may be very painful and can become infected from repeated scratching. Common home remedies to relieve the itching and burning from sea lice stings include vinegar and meat tenderizer. Hydrocortisone cream and oral antihistamines such as Benadryl may help to relieve the itching. Topical antibiotic cream may be applied to reduce the chance of infection.

    • Miss J says:

      Hope this is helpful for all of you that have it.

  12. BermyBeachWhale says:

    Well, I felt itchy whilst in the water but it went away after I got out the water, so glad I dont have that!! :)

    • Observer says:

      Wow I swam up there and Im alright, its just a bad case of Sun Burnt, hello!

  13. Terry says:

    All you people have answers. As for you ‘Miss J’….yah rong. Topical only works in the Tropics.

    All det peeeing ann krapin ann amptyhin bilgybowls attracts dee lice…..detz rite…..

    If anyone his two blaim…’s dee Yoo Bee Peeing…..detz rite……….

    • Ganja mon says:

      I see your early morning taste from MAWI is starting to wear off.

      • Terry says:

        Why you always sow critical. Jingus…..

        This Soliterry confinemeant takes hits toll…..

        Hal…Dr. Smokeganja even askd mee shree tymes if i vaunted to be put on dry ice. I stuck with choice two…..Dried Lice…detz rite….soon to be brought to local rastarantz on the Poo Poo Plater……..if it looks like rice it’s gotta bee lice….

        Soggy lice nut nice…

        • Ganja Mon says:

          They tell me you up Somerset Post office Sunday giving out flyers for your party this weekend at Clay House for your 40th anniversary of being single.


  14. Andrew Woodworth says:

    These larvae are single-celled nematocytes. Unless stressed, they do not fire their stingers. As long as they are in salt water, they will not fire. Drying them out, or dousing them in fresh water, urine, vinegar, etc, will surely cause the nematocytes to fire, worsening the outcome.

    A better solution is to rinse the affected area thoroughly with salt water. Once cleaned of the nematocytes, vinegar may be used to disarm the remaining nematocytes. Studies have also shown that hot water is a very effective post-sting treatment.

    • bernews says:

      Thanks for the note earlier btw, made the correction…

    • jus wonderin says:

      If that’s the case why did we all feel the stinging IN the water? I think u miss read your information somewhere, cause it weren’t til I got out did the actual stinging stop

      • sandgrownan says:

        Because you’re swimin’ in Pish

        • jus wonderin says:

          okkk so YOU have never swam in piss? this is Bermuda!!! everyone urinates in the water at any beach NOT JUST MANGROVE BAY… plz come up with something better

  15. Sunshine says:

    My manager’s kids got this weeks ago and it was the first time I had heard of it. They are just jellyfish larvae and they get stuck under your swimsuit and that causes the real problem. I swear you can find news about any and everything on Bernews lol

    • Eyes wide open says:

      Exactly Sunshine. I’m surprised that it wasn’t reported that they are only jellyfish babies and not actual “lice”. It’s not contagious or parasitic like the “other lice”. LOL!

  16. TMT says:

    Yea itchy and don wanni wear clothes! Grrrrrr hate Mangrove Bay……… never again!!

    • Point Boi says:

      @ TMT don’t wear clothes if you are uncomfortable. I’ll call the most high halie salassi and tell him to commute your sentence because nature took over (hope yur a gurl)!

  17. Babs says:

    Not only at Mangrove Bay. I was covered in a rash after swimming at Horseshoe Bay on Saturday and believe sea lice to be the culprit – all the same symptoms and rash only in areas covered by bathing suit. I would never swim in Mangrove Bay during the Non-Mariners Race, nor in Paradise Lake during holidays when it becomes raft-up city…..too much like swimming in a toilet!

  18. bermyshotta says:

    Ppl got dem crabs dat was floatin by too haha

  19. Hmmmmm says:

    The sea lice must’ve felt right at home at Non-Mariners.

  20. A Bermudian says:

    sooo unpleasant.

  21. outkasted says:

    Lmfao. This is some funny reading right here..

  22. joonya says:

    Zane, what you got coming from Egypt to help wit dis itchy stuff…?

  23. 32n64w says:

    “We have had a number of cases of sea lice in Emergency at the hospital and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, but not more than we usually see.”

    Why are people wasting precious medical resources when they can take care of this themselves at home?

  24. Just an idea says:

    Nude bathing that will bring the tourists back ,who would have thought and now we got a reason
    Brilliant lets mandate that!

    • Just_fuggin_me says:

      I wish there was a nude beach too or EVEN a topless beach!! Bermuda will still be known for its conservativeness. I was just mentioning it to a few of my friends who agreed too. That would be so nice, especially for the “heavier” breasted women (D cups) like myself ^_^

  25. PAS says:

    Tourists were affected too :)

  26. A ITCHY SISTA says:

    I HAVE SEA LICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Andrew Woodworth says:

    @Jus Wondering: they fire when stressed, and grinding away inside a swimsuit is stressful. That’s why the rash occurs under the swimsuit. The ones bumping against exposed skin are not stressed and don’t fire.