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This is the first time we encountered jellyfish in the Riviera Maya although it seems we have only been lucky so far since the 'thimble jellyfish' is found in the area. Cindy got some pretty nasty looking welts from the jellyfish encounter, but taking an antihistamine and washing the area with vinegar removed all signs by this morning. Prevalent in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Carribean, and along both the east and west coasts of the United States during the summer months, sea lice are probably the most commonly encountered stinging threat to divers and swimmers at the beach. Sea lice are actually the microscopic larvae of jellyfish and other ocean stingers which contain the same nematocysts (stinging cells) as mommy and daddy. In many areas of the Gulf and Caribbean the primary culprit causing "sea lice" infestations is the larvae of the thimble jellyfish. These larvae, sometimes half a millimeter in length or smaller, can become trapped between the bathing suit and skin or in crevices like the armpit and compressed, causing the stinging cells to fire. The larvae are large enough to be visible to the naked eye but become nearly invisible in the water - unfortunately the only reliable method of identifying when sea lice are present is by the appearance of the rash on other swimmers or divers. During summer months high concentrations of these stinging larvae may float in "clouds" or "blooms" that affect large areas of beach or ocean. Common symptoms of sea lice ...