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Jellyfish - Medusas E-mail

Jellyfish - Medusas

Sometimes the waters of Barcelona beaches are invaded by jellyfish - called "medusas" in Spanish. This sometimes happens in late July and August, when the water can be up to 26 degrees warm. Jellyfish swarms have appeared in recent years because of generally warmer water temperatures in the Mediterranean sea combined with overfishing of marine life, like turtles, that eat jellyfish and help keep their numbers down.

If you are on the beach, you will probably might see either the yellow flag - which means bathe with caution - or the special "jellyfish" warning flag, which is hoisted by the Red Cross life guard service (called the Creu Roja Catalunya.) If there is a red flag, then bathing is prohibited.

Jellyfish do not attack and are not dangerous, but If there are many jellyfish you might be unlucky and be stung, which can be unpleasant and similar to a rash caused by stinging nettles. Visit the Red Cross centres on the beach for treatment for a jellyfish sting. Treatment is free.

If you cannot visit the Red Cross centre then the Red Cross recommend the following treatment:

- Rinse the affected area with sea water - not fresh water, which will make it worse
- Apply vinegar to the affected area - or a pad soaked with sea water - or an ice pack
- Do not rub the affected area
- If there are jellyfish remains in the skin remove carefully with tweezers 
- Disinfect the area with an antiseptic

Beach warning flags at the Red Cross Lifeguard centres

Green flag - safe for bathing
Yellow flag - bathe with caution
Red flag - bathing prohibited

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Source Creu Roja