Health advisory issued for some Florida panhandle beaches

Updated:

NOTE: This story is from 2016. There are no active warnings as of July 6, 2017.

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The Florida Department of Public Health has issued a health advisory for some Florida panhandle beaches.

There are seven beaches under a health advisory, but there are no “no swim” advisories posted any longer.

The advisory extends to six beaches in Okaloosa County and one in Walton County.

“At present, all panhandle beaches have satisfactory water quality for fecal indicator bacteria, with the exception of six in Okaloosa County and one in Walton County. We often see elevated levels of fecal indicator bacteria after experiencing significant rainfall. The following panhandle beaches currently have a health advisory for fecal indicator bacteria exceedances:

Okaloosa

  • Clement E. Taylor Park
  • East Pass
  • Garniers Park
  • Henderson Beach
  • Poquito Park
  • Rocky Bayou State Park

Walton

  • Blue Mountain Beach

 

The Department of Health in Okaloosa County released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying, "DOH-Okaloosa has issued health advisories at specific beaches due to elevated sample levels of a bacteria called enterococci. Enterococci is bacteria that normally inhabits the intestinal tract of humans and animals. It may cause human disease, infections, or rashes, but for the vast majority of people, the risk of serious illness is minimal. An otherwise healthy person may have no problems with contact with the water of a beach that is under advisory. Some may experience a minor inflammation of a cut, a mild sore throat or mild diarrhea after exposure to water from a beach under a health advisory. The greatest risk is for very young children, the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems since their ability to fight off infection is limited by age or disease."

Enterococci is not a flesh-eating bacteria.

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