Confusion over swimming advisories - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Confusion over swimming advisories

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A lot of people went swimming at the beach this past weekend, despite signs that warned not to in some places, but some of those signs seemed to contradict with what was on the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals' web site.  

On Monday, a representative with the DHH said that the signs should not have warned of an advisory at Holly Beach in Cameron on Friday, July 5, as there was not one listed on the DHH web site.

Bonnie Jones, of Alexandria, said, "I did see the signs, and I was warned previous to coming, and I was a little leery, but the water is just beautiful. I've been coming here 20 years, and this is one of the prettiest beach days I've seen since I've been coming here."

Even though the signs say there's an advisory at Holly Beach, the Louisiana Health Department's web site says there are no advisories.  So, what is a swimmer to think?

"There's a conspiracy going on somewhere," says swimmer, Cosima Devaleourt.

Weekly testing at 25 beaches including Holly Beach is for bacteria you would typically find in sewage. Advisory or not, though, people are swimming.

"I've been in it. I've been getting in the waves, getting little crabs off the bottom, having fun," said Devaleourt.
And making it even more confusing are the recent concern about the dangers of vibrio vulnificus -- sometimes called flesh eating bacteria. It's most often seen in people who get into the water with open wounds or people who cut themselves on rocks in salty or brackish water.

Bob Childress, who's fished all his life, knows about that.

"Yes, I've known several people personally who got it, and most of the time, it's people who've got cuts or something, and it gets away into their blood stream, and that's what happens with it. People with low immune systems I think are the ones that really have to worry about it. It's something that's always been there,"said Childress.

But some refuse to let any risk spoil their fun.

"As pretty is the water is right now, it's got to be better than it has been for a long long time," said Childress.

Still, it's always a good idea to stay out of the water if your risk for exposure is high.

For more information on beach advisories and taking precautions while swimming click here to read DHH's latest news release on the topic.

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