What's Going Around: bacteria count advisories at three SWLA bea - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: bacteria count advisories at three SWLA beaches

Three Southwest Louisiana beaches are under advisories for high bacteria levels. (Source: KPLC) Three Southwest Louisiana beaches are under advisories for high bacteria levels. (Source: KPLC)

Half of Louisiana's beaches are under an advisory this week for high bacteria levels.     

Each week, from May through October, the Louisiana Department of Health Beach Monitoring Program tests water samples from 24 state beaches and estuaries for enterococci bacteria, found in sewage pollution.  This bacteria can cause disease, infections, and rashes.

Ingesting the contaminated water or having it enter a break in the skin is what can make you sick.

The state posts signs along the beaches under advisories to let people know that bacteria levels are high.

This week, three Southwest Louisiana recreational beaches are under advisories: Holly Beach Site #4, Lake Charles South Beach, and Rutherford Beach.

The Office of Public Health says there are certain populations that need to heed the warnings.

"This is a possible health risk for the general public, but more so for the elderly, small children, people with chronic illnesses or a weakened immune system," said Dr. Bertrand Foch, DHH Regional Medical Director.

The beaches are not closed, but you are advised to swim at your own risk.

DHH will not close beaches under advisories, but local governments have that option if the threat is sufficient. 

Click here to read weekly results from the Louisiana Beach Monitoring Program.

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