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Monday, August 23, 2010 - 2:01pm

Jellyfish And Swimmers Don't Mix

Updated: 5 years ago.
10,000 people enjoying Georgia ocean waters have been treated for jellyfish stings so far this year, up from 7,500 last year. But that doesn’t mean there are more jellyfish in Georgia waters. (photo courtesy fangleman)

Jellyfish stings are up this year off Georgia’s coast.

10,000 people have been treated so far, up from 7,500 last year.

But that doesn’t mean there are more jellyfish in Georgia waters.

University of Georgia marine scientist John Crawford says data show there are more jellyfish globally because of warmer waters, a decrease in predators, and changes to ocean chemistry.

But he says a surge in stings has to do with people.

"The fact that it came up higher numbers than last year is probably due to increased visitation to the beach."

Tybee Island has seen more tourists this year than last. Many were drawn to the Georgia coast after the BP Oil spill in the gulf.

Crawford says jellyfish stings should be washed immediately to remove the venom cells.

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