WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WIAT) — UPDATE: As of Thursday, the Florida Department of Public Health amended the wording on their website to reflect an error. Despite previous reports, there are not any no-swim advisories at any Florida beaches at this time.
A spokesperson for the Tallahassee location of department told WJHG that there was never a no-swim advisory issued; instead, “a web team member used wrong wording Wednesday when water quality test results were released.”
Instead, there is a health advisory for the two beaches in Walton County, Miramar and Blue Mountain beaches, and eight in Okaloosa County related to the level of fecal bacteria known as enterococci found in the water.Visit their website to see the beaches under a health advisory.
ORIGINAL: A number of popular beaches along the Florida panhandle are under a no-swim advisory for a possibly unsafe level of fecal bacteria indicator known as enterococci.
The Florida Department of Public Health says two Florida panhandle beaches are affected by the no-swim warning: Miramar and Blue Mountain beaches.
“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 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,” their Florida Healthy Beaches website states.
The bacteria grow in high salt concentrations. According to Medscape, infections commonly caused by the bacteria are: “urinary tract infection (UTIs),endocarditis, bacteremia, catheter-related infections, wound infections, and intra-abdominal and pelvic infections.”
The Department of Public Health says to stay out of water, regardless of advisories, if you have any open wounds.