The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Agate Beach, Beverly Beach and Seal Rock State Park Beach in Lincoln County. People should avoid direct contact with the water in these areas until the advisory is lifted. Higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses.
This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria. Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.