CANNON BEACH — A public health advisory was issued today due to higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Cannon Beach in Clatsop County. The higher-than-normal level was found at the mouth of Ecola Creek.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from shore and inland sources such as storm water runoff and animal waste from birds such as sea gulls and even pets.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes and other illnesses. Direct contact with the water should be avoided until the advisories are lifted, especially for children and the elderly who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

While these advisories are in effect at Cannon Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean for 48 hours after a rainstorm. State officials advise that the status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit www.healthoregon.org/beach or call (877) 290-6767.

Although state officials discourage water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities such as walking, playing on the beach, flying kites, and picnicking on these beaches because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

For information, contact the Beach Monitoring Program at (971) 673-0400 or go to www.healthoregon.org/beach

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