Toxic fecal bacteria leads to ‘no swim’ advisory at popular Florida beaches

OKALOOSA CO, FL (WFLA) — Several beaches in the Florida Panhandle are under a “no swim” advisory due to toxic fecal bacteria. A health advisory has been issued by the Florida Department of Health for six beaches in Okaloosa County and two in Walton County.

The Department of Health reports fecal indicator bacteria was found at Okaloosa County’s Garniers Park, Poquito Park, Rocky Bayou State Park, East Pass, Clement E. Taylor Park and Henderson Beach. Also in Walton County, at County Park, Miramar Beach and Blue Mountain Beach.

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The DOH advises residents and visitors not to swim at those beaches.

All other Florida Panhandle beaches are satisfactory, according to the DOH.

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According to the DOH: “The presence of enteric bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. If they are present in high concentrations in recreational waters and are ingested while swimming or enter the skin through a cut or sore, they may cause human disease, infections or rashes.”

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