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Oregon Health Authority Issues Health Advisory For Fecal Bacteria At 2 Beaches

The Oregon Health Authority says there are higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in the water at Nye Beach in Lincoln County and Sunset Bay State Park Beach in Coos County.

The bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes and upper respiratory infections — especially among children and older people.

Increased pathogens and fecal levels come from shore and inland sources like sewer overflows, failing septic systems and animal waste.

But OHA spokeswoman Delia Hernández says people can still visit the coastal areas. “You know people can go and walk on the beach, fly kites, picnic because these activities pose no health risk," she said. 

"And it’s also really important to mention that neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.”

Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours of a rainstorm.

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Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.