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Purple Flag Flying in Brevard County: Portuguese Man-Of-War & Sea Dragons Spotted On Beach

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Portuguese man-of-war and sea dragons have been found on Brevard County beaches.

Portuguese man-of-war and sea dragons have been found on Volusia County beaches./Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Brevard County Ocean Rescue is flying the purple flag for a second time this month. More Portuguese man-of-war have been found in the water and on the shore.

Officials are warning residents to stay away from “the pretty blue balloons.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Portuguese man-of-war can sting weeks after they’ve been on shore, and although their venom is rarely deadly to humans, they can cause pain and swelling.

The Ocean Rescue has also spotted the less common sea dragons that feed on the Portuguese man-of-war. Harder to see at only an inch in length, they have the same venom, and their sting packs a similar punch.

If  you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »