If you're planning a trip to the Atlantic Coast of central Florida in the near future, be warned that thousands of beachgoers have been stung by jellyfish over the past two weeks.

More than 3,000 people have been stung on area beaches since June 8, Volusia County beach safety officials told WFLA Thursday.

On Monday alone, 347 people were stung and treated. No one was seriously injured.

Mary Lane, an instructor with the Jimmy Lane Surfing Academy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, told the station she found herself wrapped in the tentacles of a jellyfish that she had to pull off her torso.

"This has probably been the worst summer in a long time," she said.

Purple flags warning of dangerous marine life in the waters continue to fly on the county's beaches.

Different types of jellyfish, including moon and nettle jellyfish, are floating in the waters off the coast.

Hugh Cobb, a retired chief of the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of the National Hurricane Center, told that sea surface temperatures are slightly below average along Florida's Atlantic Coast, which likely favors the influx of jellyfish.

"Jellyfish typically don't like the waters to be too warm, so it's possible the cooler waters are favoring the jellyfish," said Cobb. "These cooler waters are probably related to west surface winds, which are fairly unusual for mid-late June along the East Coast of Florida."

If you are stung by a jellyfish, the University of Florida Health recommends getting immediate medical attention.

According to UF Health, first aid measures include:
  • As quickly as possible, rinse the sting site with large amounts of vinegar for at least 30 seconds, which is safe and effective for all types of jellyfish stings. Vinegar immediately stops the thousands of tiny unfired stinging cells left on the surface of the skin after tentacle contact.
  • If no vinegar is available, it's safe to rinse the sting site with ocean water.
  • Protect the affected area.
  • Do not rub the site with sand, apply pressure or scrape the sting site.
  • Soak the area in 107 degrees Fahrenheit to 115 degrees Fahrenheit standard tap hot water, (not scalding) for 20 to 40 minutes.
  • After soaking in hot water, apply antihistamine or steroid creams, which can help with pain and itching.
To avoid getting stung, it's important to heed warning signs such as purple flags posted by local authorities and to wear shoes while walking on the beach. You can also drive them away by shuffling your feet in the water as you walk. Leave the water if you see jellyfish nearby.