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DOH-Flagler Beach Advisory Issued for Areas That Test High for Bacteria

By Mary Lahendro-Figueroa

October 14, 2016

BUNNELL, FLA - The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County (DOH-Flagler) has issued a swimming advisory for Washington Oaks, Beverly Beach and Gamble Rogers areas of the beach based on recent water sampling.

“It is not uncommon to see elevated bacteria levels after a storm like Hurricane Matthew,” said John Bey, Environmental Health Administrator. Advisories will be posted in the areas that have tested high for bacteria.

A swimming advisory means that contact with the water may pose an increased risk of infectious disease based upon Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria, and wading and swimming is not recommended at this time.

The Flagler County Health Department monitors 6 sample sites along the Flagler coast for Enterococci bacteria.

Enterococci are enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.

If they are present in high concentrations in recreational waters and are ingested while swimming or enter the skin through a cut or sore, they may cause human disease, infections or rashes.

Sample results of over 70 Colony Forming Units per 100ml of marine water results in the issuance of an “advisory” that would be issued for the sampling site.

Water sampling will continue and the beach advisory will continue until bacteria levels are below the accepted health level. New test results should be available late tomorrow.

Additional information of beach water quality can be found on the following website http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/index.html

For further information, please contact your local county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

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The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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