VISITORS to the Florida coast and the Caribbean should think twice before taking a dip in the ocean. Doctors from the University of Miami School of Medicine say these areas have seen a big comeback of 'seabather's eruption', a nasty rash that tends to appear on skin covered by swimwear.

The rash had not been reported for 25 years before reappearing in south Florida in the early Eighties; in 1992 more than 10,000 people came down with it. Research now suggests that the rash is caused by jellyfish larvae that sting when trapped in a swimsuit.

The authors suggest that keen swimmers should wear less: women, for example, would be safer wearing bikinis rather than one-pieces. Swimsuits should be removed as soon as possible after bathing, they advise in the Journal of the American Medical Association.