Man swimming in New Jersey gets stung by clinging jellyfish: ‘Almost like a knife cut me’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – A New Jersey town says a man has been stung by a clinging jellyfish and hospitalized.

Out for a swim Saturday night in the Shrewbury River but in the hospital within hours. Twenty-year-old Matt Carlo said he knew he got stung by something unusual.

"It was like the jellyfish kind of grazed by side," he said. "Almost like a knife cut me."

When his joints began to tingle and his muscles tensed up, he rushed to the emergency room. But doctors didn't know what was wrong and send him home.

Hours later and in excruciating pain, he went back. But the venom simply had to run its course.

"It just progressed throughout my body, like even my feet and face." he said. "Like almost like charley horses in all my muscles."

Dr. Paul Bologna, director of marine biology at Montclair University, said this species of jellyfish is not from around these parts.

"We've never had them," he said. "There are no reports of them in New Jersey until basically a week ago."

"The high probability if they've been here fora while but their numbers are getting high enough," he said.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is trying to figure out how many might be out there, but didn't find any on Thursday.

Dr. Gary Buchanan, of the state agency, said its "great thing" none of them were even found.

None have been found so far off New Jersey's beaches but they have been found in calmer waters like near the Barneget Bay in the Manasquan River and Shrewbury River.

Center for Disease and Control offered these tips to prevent a jellyfish stings in the future:

  • Avoid contact. This may be difficult in conditions of poor visibility, rough water, currents, and confined areas.
  • Do not attempt to feed, handle, tease, or annoy marine animals.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as protective footwear.
  • Make an effort to find out which animals may be encountered at the destination and learn about their characteristics and habitats before engaging in recreational water activities.