Anyone unfamiliar with the biology of the venomous Portuguese man-of-war would likely mistake it for a jellyfish. Not only is it not a jellyfish, it’s not even an “it,” but a “they.” The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.
It is covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly. But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.
This species’ sting can be very painful if encountered by people. When there are large numbers of individuals in an area, it is best to avoid swimming.
THE FIRST AID
- do not rub the affected area
- do not wash with freshwater or alcohol
- do not apply compresses
- wash with seawater and carefully remove any tentacles glued to the skin
- apply baking soda mixed in equal parts with seawater
- apply vinegar
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en