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Swimming advisory issued for Shell Point Beach due to high levels of bacteria

Posted at 12:34 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 12:41:14-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla.(WTXL) — The Florida Department of Health in Wakulla County has issued a high bacterial level advisory for Shell Point Beach.

Officials say swimming is not recommended at this time due to an increased risk of illness.

DOH-Wakulla will be conducting follow up sampling and testing and will remove the advisory when levels are within an acceptable range.

In order to protect the health of the public visiting Florida’s coastal and intracoastal waters, DOH-Wakulla has been systematically sampling the local beach waters for indicators of human and animal pathogens.

Authorities say enterococci are enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals.

The presence of enteric bacteria in beach water can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater 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.

For more information, visit the Florida Healthy Beaches website here.