PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you have plans to take a dip in the waters at Cannon Beach any time soon — don’t.
On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Oregon Health Authority issued a public health advisory due to the unsafe levels of fecal bacteria found at the beach and the surrounding Tolovana State Park in Clatsop County.
There could be a few different causes of the unsafe levels of fecal bacteria, including stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
OHA advises visitors to avoid direct contact with the water until the advisory ends. According to the health authority, unsafe levels of fecal bacteria can lead to conditions such as diarrhea, skin rashes, respiratory infections and more.
Children, the elderly and other immunocompromised individuals should proceed with further caution because they are more susceptible to bacterial waterborne illnesses, OHA says.
OHA also says beachgoers should especially “avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean,” because those water sources have heightened levels of fecal bacteria.
State officials report that beachgoers can, however, partake in other recreational activities like flying kites or picnicking because they do not pose health concerns.
The ocean waters will be tested again following the advisory. OHA will announce once the advisory ends, but they still advise people not to swim in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.