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Harmful bacteria prompt officials to issue 'no swim' advisory for multiple Florida beaches

Virus Outbreak Florida Beaches
Posted at 3:13 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 16:13:34-04

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.  — Harmful bacteria prompts Florida health officials to issue a "no swim" advisory for multiple beaches.

"The amount of enterococcus bacteria found during water quality testing on Monday, July 25 was outside acceptable limits," the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County said in a news release.

As a precaution, "no swim” advisories were issued for the following beaches:

  • Bird Key Park/ Ringling Causeway
  • Siesta Key Beach
  • Service Club Beach
  • Venice Fishing Pier
  • Brohard Beach
  • Casperson Beach
  • Manasota Key

On Friday, officials in Manatee County also announced advisories for the following beaches:

  • Bayfront Park North
  • Manatee Public Beach North
  • Coquina Beach North

An advisory is also in place for Palma Sola South; it was issued on July 25.

While in place, the public is advised that wading, swimming, and water recreation are not recommended.

“When these bacteria are found at high levels in recreational waters, there is a risk that some people may become ill. People, especially those who are very young, elderly or who have a weak immune system that swallow water while swimming, can get stomach or intestinal illnesses. If water contacts a cut or sore, people can get infections or rashes.” said DOH-Sarasota Environmental Administrator Tom Higginbotham.

Officials said it resampled the beaches on Thursday and expected those results late Friday afternoon.

Enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources.

These include pet waste, livestock, birds, land-dwelling and marine wildlife, stormwater runoff, and human sewage from failed septic systems and sewage spills.

No sewage spills have been reported within one mile of the posted beaches in the past two weeks.

To check on the latest status of other "No Swim" advisories, click here.

Veronica Beltran at WFTS first reported this story.