CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is warning of a dime-size jellyfish whose sting is powerful enough to send you to the hospital.
Clinging Jellyfish have been found in Potter Pond in South Kingstown and Ninigret Pond in Charlestown, according to the DEM.
These jellyfish are difficult to spot in the water because their bodies are mostly transparent and are marked with an orange-brown cross.
The DEM is urging waders, quahoggers and others in shallow protected bodies of water to take precautions, especially near aquatic vegetation, by wearing boots, waders or wetsuits, or sticking to sandy or surfy areas away from vegetation.
“Although these jellies have the potential to sting, don’t let that stop you from enjoying beautiful coastal pond ecosystems + all the rec opportunities they offer!” the DEM wrote on Twitter.
In 2019, five people were stung by clinging jellyfish at Potter Pond.
Symptoms of clinging jellyfish stings vary by person but can cause severe pain and redness at the sting site, as well as respiratory and/or neurological problems.
Anyone stung by a clinging jellyfish should take the following actions:
- Put white vinegar on the sting site to stop any remaining stinging cells.
- Remove any remaining tentacles with fine tweezers. Be sure to wear gloves to prevent additional stings to your hands.
- Soak the skin in hot water or take a hot shower for 20-45 minutes.
The health department says to seek medical treatment if the symptoms persist for more than five days or if the pain gets worse.