A beachgoer has been hospitalised after being stung by a Portuguese man o’ war while swimming off a popular Spanish beach.
The incident happened in the coastal town of Santa Pola on the Costa Blanca (White Coast), located in the eastern province of Alicante.
According to reports, the 33-year-old Spanish woman was enjoying a dip in the Mediterranean when she felt a painful sting on her leg.
She told local media: “I was only in the water for 10 seconds when I felt something around my leg followed by a strong sting like an electric shock.”
Although the Spaniard said that she did not see the jellyfish, experts confirmed she was stung by a Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis).
Doctors at a local clinic reportedly gave her anti-inflammatory and antihistamine drugs, but as the pain persisted she decided to go to the
Elche General Hospital for further medical care to the 15-centimetre-long sting wound.
The 33-year-old said: “When I told doctors about my symptoms and the strange prickling sensation I felt in my arms despite being stung on the leg, they told me that it was a Portuguese man o’ war.”
Several beaches in the area were closed due to their presence.
Local authorities are investigating the case.
The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis) is a marine hydrozoan with long tentacles and a dangerous sting. The venom is powerful enough to kill fish and, on rare occasions, humans.