Sea Lice Outbreaks on Rise in Gulf Coast Beaches

Seabather’s eruption is an itchy rash caused by a nearly invisible marine pest known as sea lice, which lurks in warm oceans, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean during the summer. Severe cases can result in flu-like symptoms. ABC station KTRK-TV of Houston has reported that sea lice outbreaks are on the rise this year, especially at beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.

“Outbreaks of seabather’s eruption occur intermittently between March and August, but they appear to peak during early April through early July,” according to the Florida Department of Health. “Seabather’s eruption appear to be caused by shifts in South Florida’s currents, with the highest incidence of cases in such areas as Palm Beach County and Northern Broward County, where the Gulf Stream passes closest to shore.” FULL REPORT