DHS news release
Feb. 9, 2006
Contacts: Bonnie Widerburg, DHS, (971) 673-1282
Robert Smith, Oregon Parks & Recreation, (503) 986-0665, cell (503) 551-3528
Technical contacts: Joel Sherman, DHS, (971) 673-0441
Greg Pettit, DEQ, (503) 229-5349
Health advisory issued for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park beach
A public health advisory was issued Thursday due to higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Sunset Bay State Park beach in Coos County.
Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Direct contact with the water should be avoided until the advisory is lifted, especially for children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.
While this advisory is in effect at Sunset Bay State Park 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 within 48 hours after a rainstorm.
Although they discourage water contact, state officials say they continue to encourage other recreational activities on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.
Water quality is monitored at selected beaches along Oregon's coast by the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program. The program is funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. More detailed test results are available at www.healthoregon.org/beach