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Man o’ war alert on Atlantic coast

Beach-goers warned to stay clear of blue ‘jellyfish’ as they can cause major problems from poison in tentacles

BEACH-GOERS have been warned to stay away from dangerous blue jellyfish-like Portuguese man o' war which have been found on many Aquitaine beaches, especially in the Landes.

The regional health authority warned that one person had already been poisoned by venomous physalies tentacles on the Atlantic coast.

Although looking a little like blue-ish jellyfish, the man o’ war can measure up to about 10cm but have poisonous tentacles that can reach metres long. They should be avoided – even if washed up and dead - as the poison can cause intense stinging and lead to sickness, vertigo, breathing problems and uncontrollable shaking.

Two years ago, several Landes beaches were inundated with man o’ war and several bathers had to be taken to hospital after being stung.

If stung, the health authorities recommend using sand and a sharp-edged card to remove all traces of the tentacle, and to rinse the wound with sea water.

See our previous story on jellyfish on French coasts: Jellyfish arrive in big numbers

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