OCEAN COUNTY – Non-native clinging jellyfish with a powerful sting have been found in the Metedeconk River. The Department of Environmental Protection advises recreational users of the river to exercise caution.
The alert also includes the Shrewsbury and Manasquan rivers in Monmouth County. Their presence was also confirmed in 2016.
Researchers confirm 15 clinging jellyfish off a private dock in the Metedeconk just this week.
This clinging jellyfish, native to the Pacific Ocean, attaches itself to submerged aquatic vegetation and algae in back bays and estuaries, places not typically used by swimmers. The jellyfish are difficult to spot in water.
Stings can produce severe pain and other localized symptoms and, in some cases, send victims to the hospital.
Waders should wear boots, especially in areas with aquatic vegetation. Swimmers are encouraged to swim at lifeguarded beaches.
Those stung by the clinging jellyfish should apply white vinegar to the affected area to immobilize any remaining stinging cells. The area should be rinsed with salt water. Gloves or a heavy towels should be used to remove remaining tentacles. Hot compresses or cold packs can help alleviate the pain when applied to the affected area. If symptoms persist, medical help should be sought.
Those who see a clinging jellyfish should not attempt to capture it. Photos can be sent to Dr. Paul Bologna at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joseph Bilinski at email@example.com along with location information.