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White Flag Warning: Could Jellyfish Swarm Sink Summer Plans In Los Cabos?

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Just in time for the start of the summer travel season, an unwelcome beach traveler has made their presence known on the sand and surf of Los Cabos – jellyfish.

While these sea creatures don’t necessarily close the beaches of Los Cabos, travelers are urged to avoid swimming in the oceans with jellyfish as travelers choose to do so assume all of the potential health risks.

White Flag Warning

Palmilla Beach Los Cabos

Several beaches in Los Cabos had white flags posted in advance of the long holiday weekend in the United States, warning tourists about the presence of jellyfish on the shores and in the water.

Primarily, this warning was focused on two very popular tourist beaches in Los Cabos – Palmilla and El Corsario beaches.

While officials do not close beaches or restrict swimming due to jellyfish on the shores and in the water, they are highly advised to avoid bathing in the water to avoid the risk of painful stings which can become deadly.

White flag waving in a beach means jelly fish in the area

Jellyfish Sting Danger

While they may seem pretty bobbing around in the oceans, swimmers need to be aware of the tentacles jellyfish use to catch food.

They have tiny little barbs that hook into the skin and have potent stinging cells that can quickly ruin a day at the beach for travelers.

Jellyfish swimming near the shore in Los Cabos

Normally, this is just a very painful souvenir of a vacation getaway to Los Cabos for most tourists.

However, there are some people who are allergic to jellyfish stings and can experience dangerous, life-threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis, which can lead to breathing difficulties.

How to Handle Jellyfish Stings

Lifeguard walking on the beach

The most important first step for a jellyfish sting is to avoid touching or rubbing the injury. Doing so can push the barbs further into the skin and actually cause more pain and discomfort.

Immediately after the sting, the victim should seek assistance from trained lifeguards or other first responders. They will advise on the next steps for the injury and monitor the tourist for potential signs of anaphylaxis.

It is highly recommended that medical attention be the next step in the process to have the wound inspected, cleaned and bandaged properly.

Saint Luke's Hospital Building Parking Lot

Many of the folk remedies to treat jellyfish stings are generally not good ideas. Some of them include pouring beer on the wound, rubbing the injury, or even worse, urinating on the wound.

Other Flags to Beware

While the white flags on the beach indicated unsafe swimming conditions due to jellyfish in the water, there are three other flag colors travelers should know to keep themselves safe on the beaches of Los Cabos.

Red flag posted on a beach in Los Cabos

Yellow flags indicate caution, just like on a stoplight. Swimming is not recommended, and swimmers take their own risk when swimming due to hazardous ocean conditions.

Red flags indicate that swimming is not allowed at the beach due to highly dangerous ocean conditions.

A black flag is posted when a beach in Los Cabos is closed. This is generally for health reasons, such as the presence of sewage in the water after a strong storm.

Black flag posted on a beach

What Travelers Need to Know

The posting of a white flag at a popular tourist beach is definitely an inconvenience for travelers.

However, the good news is there are many more beaches available in Los Cabos, so it is generally not worth taking the risk of swimming on a beach with a white flag posted due to the presence of jellyfish.

Usually, jellyfish conditions in Los Cabos only last for a couple of days before the ocean and shore are returned to normal for travelers to enjoy the sun, sand and surf on their vacation getaway.

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