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City officials cautioning visitors after Portuguese man o' war found on Folly Beach

Stock photo of a Portuguese man o' war provided by Folly Beach officials who are cautioning visitors after one was found on Thursday. Stock photo of a Portuguese man o' war provided by Folly Beach officials who are cautioning visitors after one was found on Thursday.
FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) -

Folly Beach City officials are cautioning visitors after a Portuguese man o' war was found on Thursday. 

According to City of Folly Beach officials, there have also been multiple sightings of the sea creature in area beaches recently. 

"Please be vigilant while swimming to avoid contact with these creatures," city officials said. "Report all sightings by calling dispatch at 843-588-2433, or using the SeeClickFix mobile app." 

Just last week, town officials on Sullivan's Island advised visitors to take caution as well due to recent sightings of Portuguese man o' war. 

The creatures rarely cross paths with beachgoers in South Carolina, officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say, but sustained onshore winds have temporarily brought them to our shores.

The man o' war has long venomous tentacles that can inflict a painful sting to swimmers or even beach walkers. 

The stings cause red welts on the skin that can last up to three days often resulting in severe dermatitis.

The pain generally subsides after three hours. 

"In extreme cases, the venom can travel to the lymph nodes and cause symptoms that mimic an allergic reaction such as swelling of the larynx, airway blockage or cardiac distress," officials said.

If stung, the suggested remedy is to rinse immediately with salt water to wash away any microscopic nematocyst, according to officials. 

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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